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San Pasqual Handicap Betting – Hoppertunity Seizes Opportunity, Wins At Santa Anita

Posted by on 1/8/2015 10:02:37 PM

The San Pasqual Handicap is a Grade-2 event that is for horses that are aged four and older. It is run on dirt over 1 1/16 miles and with a purse of $200,000, it attracts a very good field for this early in the calendar year. As always, the San Pasqual will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.

This is a very solid field of racehorses and a chance for some darkhorse picks, but Hoppertunity is the thoroughbred to watch on Saturday and should wind up in the winner’s circle.

What : Horse Betting

When : Saturday, January 10th, post time TBA

Where : Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA

Pick : Hoppertunity

Appealing Tale wrapped up 2014 with a third at the Grade-3 Midnight Lute, which is an improvement over an eighth at the Grade-2 Alysheba and a 10 th in an allowance race. He has run at this distance three times with a top finish of second, but that was an allowance race. It could be a tough day for this five-year-old.

Baccelo hails from Brazil and made his American debut in an allowance race at Del Mar, finishing third back in November. It was at 1 1/16 miles, so that is good, but not enough is known about this five-year-old to make a solid case for him.

Big Cazanova won the Grade-3 Native Diver Handicap at the end of November, which followed a fifth at the Grade-2 Las Vegas Marathon on Halloween. This six-year-old from Argentina missed all of 2013 before coming to the States and seems to be improving, but this is a tough field.

Blue Tone came in second to Big Cazanova at the Native Diver, and he also won the non-graded Harry F. Brubaker Stakes in August. This six-year-old gelding could cause an upset, but he’ll need a few breaks to go his way.

Bronzo is another South American horse as he hails from Chile, and he made his American debut at the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, where he finished fourth. He also finished fourth at the Grade-1 Gran Premio Latinoamericano in March in Peru, which was run at 1 ¼ miles, but it’ll be interesting to see how he handles the distance against American competition.

Hoppertunity should be considered the favorite here with three wins in seven starts, and two of those came at the Grade-2 Rebel Stakes in March and the Grade-1 Clark Handicap in November. He also finished second at the Grade-1 Santa Anita Derby before taking six months off, so this four-year-old should have fresh legs for Saturday’s race.

Majestic Harbor is coming off a disappointing 11th at the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but it may not have been that disappointing when you look at the field he faced. He has two graded-stakes wins at the Grade-1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita and the Grade-3 Tokyo City Cup, both of which were at Santa Anita, so that could be something for bettors to hang their hat on when it comes to this seven-year-old.

Mr. Commons is another seven-year-old and he is coming off a fourth at the Grade-2 Seabiscuit Handicap in November. He ran just two races in 2014, but Mr. Commons has primarily a horse that runs a mile, and on turf. How will he handle these conditions on Saturday?

Quadrivium has won his last two starts, both on dirt, but they were allowance races and he has never made a start in a graded-stakes event. He was bred in the United States, but has spent most of his time in Europe and even though his wins have come in his first two U.S. starts, this field will be much better and it will be a big test for this four-year-old.

Salto Del Indio made his debut at the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, finishing second, then he finished fifth at the Native Diver, so this is another horse which doesn’t have much information on him. This five-year-old might need the race of his life to finish in the money.

Tonito M. rounds out the field and after winning the Grade-3 Oklahoma Derby in September, he finished second at the non-graded Zia Park Derby in November. He has finished in the money in five of his seven career starts, and Tonito M. could be a sneaky pick on Saturday.

How It Will Play Out

There are a couple of thoroughbreds that could claim the upset, but Hoppertunity is the smart play.

San Pasqual Handicap Betting Pick: Hopper

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