Tipsheet: 2022 San Felipe Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 3rd, 2022

A field of seven three-year-olds will run 1 1/16 miles on the Santa Anita dirt in Saturday’s $400,000 San Felipe S. (G2). The 2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series event will reward the top four finishers with qualifying points on a 50-20-10-5 structure towards the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 7.

San Felipe Stakes Picks

  • #5 Doppelganger
  • #6 Forbidden Kingdom
  • #3 Armagnac
  • #1 Happy Jack

San Felipe Stakes Wagers

  • $20 exacta 5 with 3, 6
  • $2 superfecta 5, 6 with 5, 6 with 1, 3 with all

San Felipe Stakes Contenders

#1 HAPPY JACK looked the part in a sharp debut win, which preceded an awful showing in the Robert B. Lewis S. (G3) last time out. The Doug O’Neill trainee is obviously better than his latest performance, and he will run with the blinkers off for the first time on Saturday which could help. The son of Oxbow will save ground throughout the race beneath regular pilot Abel Cedillo.

#2 WORSE READ SANCHEZ is a California-bred facing open foes while moving from the turf to the main strip for O’Neill. The homebred son of Square Eddie will need a major step forward to challenge for the upset late under Mario Gutierrez.

#3 ARMAGNAC responded to the addition of blinkers last time with a wire-to-wire score on the course for Bob Baffert. The $210,000 son of Quality Road has obvious room for improvement with just two races under his belt to date, and his recent bullet morning move hints that he will be ready to run big in this spot. John Velazquez will guide the intriguing prospect.

#4 BEAUTIFUL ART showed marked improvement following an unplaced debut when driving home a facile sprint maiden winner on the surface for trainer Simon Callaghan. The expensive juvenile purchase is a question mark going long, and he loses the services of Flavien Prat. The Klimt colt will stalk the pace to the top of the lane.

#5 DOPPELGANGER impressed with a fine debut victory at Los Alamitos and returned with a solid fourth-place result in the San Vicente S. (G2) for Baffert. The son of Into Mischief gives the impression of a colt crying out for two turns, and I expect him to thrive on Saturday following three fleet works in advance of Saturday. Prat will be in the silks.

#6 FORBIDDEN KINGDOM rates as the main threat to the top pick after his impressive wire-to-wire score in the San Vicente (G2) in his most recent endeavor. The Richard Mandella pupil has a world of gate speed, and the son of American Pharoah has room to improve in his second showing off the shelf. Regular rider Juan Hernandez will be in the stirrups atop the pacesetter.

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Forbidden Kingdom and jockey Juan Hernandez win the San Vicente Stakes (Photo by Benoit Photo)

#7 CABO SPIRIT owns a stakes win on the turf, and the $575,000 purchase was a clear second in the Robert B. Lewis (G3), albeit a long way behind the mighty Messier. The dark bay will need a career-best effort to challenge for the upset late, but he has top-three appeal nonetheless. Victor Espinoza will be up.