Another busy day of horse racing is on the docket at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, as we are all set for the 2017 Santa Monica Stakes. This Grade II event is scheduled for Saturday (Race #5 – post time: 5:30 p.m. ET), which means that future odds, contenders post positions and horse racing picks are now available.
This year, a purse of $200,000 will be up for grabs for quintet of fillies and mares ages four-years-old and older and the distance traveled will be 7 furlongs on a left-handed dirt track. This year’s group will be highlighted by 2016 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner, Finest City, who makes her 2017 horseracing debut with horse racing futures on her side following that huge win last November at this very track.
Speaking of the track, this has been an unusual year for horse contenders and their trainers given the abnormal mount of rain that’s hit SoCal this winter. This has not only forced everyone to become more of a meteorologist than they would like to admit, but it also creates a slippery slope in terms of risk and reward.
“Everyone is turning into a weatherman now,” said Finest City’s trainer, Ian Kruljac earlier this week. “We’re just trying to manage her at this point. It will be a morning-time decision, but (scratching) is definitely a thought. It’s not worth it if the track is off.”
Luckily, showers are expected from Jan. 18-20 and again on Jan. 22-23, leaving an open window for the 2017 Santa Monica Stakes to take place without further complications and/or scratches. With that important piece of information established, let’s take a look at this year’s contenders and top-three future odds/picks favorites.
Finest City (6/5): As stated above, leading the way in the category of horse predictions for outright winner is none other than Finest City. After weighing in at 124 lbs, the Pennsylvania-native will be very hard to beat. That’s because Santa Anita Park has proven to be one of Finest City’s favorite track throughout her career. In fact, in five starts, the Seltzer Thoroughbreds product has only finished once outside the top three. In this instance, the 5-year-old mare drew post position number ne and will have legendary jockey Mike E. Smith on mount.
Bad Ju Ju (2/1): Trained by Peter Miller, Bad Ju Ju currently has the second best horse racing odds to win the 2017 Santa Monica Stakes at 2/1. After weighing in at 120 lbs, he will have Norberto Arroyo, Jr. on mount. Bad Ju Ju comes will be bursting out of post position number two, which means he will likely have to keep pace with odds-on favorite Finest City. The Kalookan Queen Stakes.
Fantastic Style (5/2): Trained by Hall of Famer Doug F. O’Neill, Fantastic Style rounds up the top three contenders at 5/1 horse racing betting odds. The 5-year-old mare comes in a third-place finish at the Skipat, was the runner-up at the Great Lady (M-G2) and captured victories at the 2015 Great Lady (M-G2) and at the 2015 Angel’s Flights. She also finished second at the Beaumont-G2, but won an AlwOC and a MSW early last year. After weighing in at 122 lbs, Fantastic Style will have Rafael Bejarano on mount at this event.
- 2017 Santa Monica Stakes Picks: Finest City (6/5)
2017 Santa Monica Stakes Future Odds & Post Positions
- Finest City 6/5
- Bad Ju Ju 2/1
- Dr. Fager’s Gal 15/1
- Fantastic Style 5/2
- Sheer Pleasure 6/1