The 18th Running of the G2 Santa Monica Stakes
February 5, 2022
SA Race #5 16:50 $200.000 7 Furlongs
4+ F&M 123 Lbs (Plus Penalties)
Track Record-1:19.86 (Alpha Ultimo-2005)
Stakes Record-1:21.36 (Golden Chance-2013)
Saturday’s G2 Santa Monica at SA will be the 18th running of the $200.000 7-furlong event for older fillies and mares. A competitive group of seven ladies will line the gate as they try to get their respective 2022 seasons off to a good start. An interesting mix has signed-on for the G2 Santa Monica so let’s meet the players:
#1 Gold Futures (TwinTowersRacing/J. Bravo 123): 6yo mare spent the 2nd half of her 5yo campaign focusing on this division and makes her ’22 debut in this spot. She won at this level going nine panels last spring, so the quality is evident. Hasn’t found the winner’s circle in the division, but this will be her first crack going 7-furlongs.
#2 Flyingbolt (Jokerjoes/M.E. Smith 123): 4yo was an exacta-finisher in eight of her nine starts last year (six wins) and totes a modest two-race winning streak. The only time she saw graded foes in ’21 she was fifth, beaten a length. Wired a $75.000 stakes group in her latest and looks to have the early foot to at least contest the pace here. Only slight improvement required to make her a major player.
#3 Bagel Bites (Gdp Inc/T.C. Baze 123): 4yo started this season the same way she ended her sophomore campaign, in the winner’s circle. Two strong works since ’22 bow and she has a stalking style that should only enhance her chances. Former claimer has to answer the question of class, but there’s nothing on her page that is an obvious knock. Definite player.
#4 Pirate Princess (Angelos Stable/D. Van Dyke 123): 5yo ran 13 times as a 4yo, so this short break must seem like a vacation for her. She was close a couple times at the graded level, but her three wins of the season came facing much softer than what she finds here. She looks to need a career-best effort to factor here.
#5 Dancinginflorida (Night Rider Stables/F. Prat 123): Ran in the BC despite not getting a victory last season, but she started ’22 with an allowance win at TAM. Jumps right back into graded company here and will need to find more to best this field. Close enough in these types last year that one could give her the benefit of the doubt that she possesses the drive to best these types but going to make her prove it against this group.
#6 Smiling Lucy (Nakamura Stables/K. Frey 123): Four-time winner as a sophomore is a tough puzzle to crack. When she feels like it, she can run with anyone in the division, but she doesn’t always feel like it. Has shown ability from close-up and from well-off the pace. If she works out a trip, and the mood strikes her, she appears the most capable; however, tough to endorse those types too forcefully.
#7 Copper Mama (John Henry/K.J. Desormeaux 123): 5yo took a G1 in May and hasn’t won since. Last two efforts suggest she is getting closer, though, and any continued improvement should make her double tough. Those runs saw her much more involved from the start and there is a chance for her to use similar tactics here. A sucker for back class, this is the choice in a competitive bunch.
Final Analysis: Not very confident in the selection, but 7-3-2 is how we see the G2 Santa Monica at SA. Good luck everyone!