Review of San Pasqual Stakes, Grade II, at Santa Anita

Race 9. San Pasqual Stakes, Grade II. For four- year-old and up at mile and one eighth. Purse $200,000.

Two of America’s best older stake horses, McKinzie and Battle of Midway, head a field of eight going a mile and one eighth in the San Pasqual Stakes.  Dabster and McKinzie are trained by Bob Baffert. The San Pasqual is a traditional prep for the Santa Anita Handicap.   

San Pasqual Stakes Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Pavel Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill 8/1
2 Dalmore Kent Desormeaux Anthony Quartarolo 20/1
3 Dabster Joseph Talamo Bob Baffert 5/1
4 Shivermetimbers Geovanni Franco Jerry Hollendorfer 30/1
5 Giant Expectations Joel Rosario Peter Eurton 12/1
6 Sonneteer Rafael Bejarano Keith Desormeaux 20/1
7 McKinzie Mike Smith Bob Baffert 4/5
8 Battle of Midway Flavien Prat Jerry Hollendorfer 5/2


McKinzie was taken off the Derby Trail following his race in the San Felipe due to a minor injury and resurfaced to be an easy winner of the Sept. 22 Pennsylvania Derby as the 2-1 favorite. He had a poor performance in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3. He returned with a win in the Malibu at Santa Anita on Dec 26. This should be a solid prep race for the Santa Anita Handicap and the Dubai World Cup. McKinzie is 7: 5-1-0 with earnings of $1,086,000.  He should be forwardly placed.

Battle of Midway
He battled every step of the way going 1 1/16 miles in the San Antonio but had to settle for second. He has four wins from seven tries at Santa Anita. He has started 15 times during his career and has a record  7-4-2 and earnings of $1,469,049. He has early speed.


He was third, beaten three quarters of a length by Battle of Midway in the opening day San Antonio. He went head and head with Battle of Midway two starts back, finishing second by a neck in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar two starts back on Nov. 25. His record for 12 starts is 5-2-2, with earnings of $347,305. He has early speed.


Last two races were poor performances. He ran 15th in the Champions Cup at Chukyo on December 2. Prior to that, he ran 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on November 3. His last victory was the Stephen F. Foster Handicap, Grade I, at Churchill Downs on June 16.  His record for 13 starts is 3-1-1, with earnings of $1,375,000.   He does his best running from the second pack. A solid pace will increase his chances of being in the top three.

Our Top Three Picks

  • McKinzie
  • Battle of Midway
  • Pavel




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