Awesome Again Stakes 2017 Picks
Awesome Again Stakes Preview
Breaking from the far outside post, the Bob Baffert-trained Cupid (2-1) has drawn morning line favored staus in an evenly matched field, where seven of the starters are listed in single-digit odds. A four-year-old son of Tapit - the sire of the last two Belmont Stakes winners - he's won six of 11 lifetime starts, including his last two.
Two races ago he took the (G1) Santa Anita Gold Cup at odds of 7-1, and last out he just held to win the ungraded Harry Brubaker Stakes by 3/4 of a length. Although recently winning by stalking off the pace, he's shown good early speed in the past, and in a race that seems to lack other speed horses, it will be interesting to see if jockey Rafael Bejarano decides to try for the lead out of the gate or sit back early. Either way, he's a logical favorite.
Other Options in a Closely Matched Field
One other that has shown the ability to get to the front early is Midnight Storm, the second choice in the morning line at 3-1. A veteran six year old with 10 wins in 25 lifetime starts, he seems to do his best running at a distance of one mile, but he did win at 1 1/16 miles on the Santa Anita dirt to start the year, and ran second in the 1 1/4 mile (G1) Santa Anita Handicap back in March, a race that he led throughout and was only just caught at the wire.
Getting the services of all-time Breeders' Cup winning jockey Mike Smith, Ontario-bred Breaking Lucky (5-1) has been third in his last two, both Grade 1 events, but it should be noted that the winner of both of those was Gun Runner, considered one of the best horses racing in the world right now. He also ran second behind Gun Runner in last year's (G1) Clark Handicap. He has good tactical speed to sit just off the pacesetters and should be in the mix as they turn for home, but like several others here, it's not clear that he can win at the distance.
The second Bab Baffert entry in the field is Irish-bred Mubtaahij (4-1), who returns to US soil after starting the season in Dubai. He's been competitive in the past at the Grade 1 level in the US, running second last year in the (G1) Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Race Course, and third in the (G2) Subarban Handicap at Belmont. For him, the distance should be no problem, but the bigger question is how he will fare after a six-month layoff. He gets lasix medication for the first time.
The Awesome Again Stakes goes Saturday, September 30 from Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, California. It's race #10 of 11 on the day, with a post time of 5:05 PM Pacific, and the fifth of five Grade 1 stakes races on the card. Also on the schedule is the (G1) Zenyatta Stakes for fillies and mares, with the winner gaining entry into the 2017 Breeders' Cup Distaff.
All Santa Anita races are open for betting at BetOnline or other top-rated racebooks.
Awesome Again Stakes Entries
- Win The Space (15-1)
- Dortmund (8-1)
- Midnight Storm (3-1)
- Curlin Rules (6-1)
- Breaking Lucky (5-1)
- Mubtaahij (4-1)
- Donworth (6-1)
- Cupid (2-1)
Awesome Again Stakes Picks
- #8 - Cupid
- #5 - Breaking Lucky
- #6 - Mubtaahij
- #3 - Midnight Storm
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