Kentucky Derby Prep Races: San Felipe Stakes Odds, Race Preview

Written By Dave Bontempo on March 3, 2022 - Last Updated on March 4, 2022
san felipe stakes odds

How well will Forbidden Kingdom and Doppelganger stretch out? That’s the key to handicapping 2022 San Felipe Stakes odds.

They are the two favored entries in the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes, conducted over 1 1/16 miles Saturday from Santa Anita Park with post time at 5:30 p.m. ET. Forbidden Kingdom and Doppelganger stage a rematch of the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes, won by Forbidden Kingdom, and now try to get the extra distance.

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The Morning Line: 2022 San Felipe Stakes Odds

The race winner earns 50 Kentucky Derby points, and, for all intents and purposes, entry into the May 7 Run for the Roses.
Even second place, 20 points, may be enough to get the runner-up into the Derby.

1Happy Jack8-1Doug O’NeillAbel Cedillo
2Worse Read Sanchez20-1Doug O’NeillMario Gutierrez
3Armagnac5-1Bob BaffertJohn Velazquez
4Beautiful12-1Art Simon CallaghanMike Smith
5Doppelganger9-5Bob BaffertFlavien Prat
6Forbidden Kingdom8-5Richard MandellaJuan Hernandez
7Cabo Spirit12-1George PapaprodomouVictor Espinoza

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Past Performances

The San Felipe produced Kentucky Derby and Preakness-winning California Chrome in 2014 along with Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Authentic in 2020.

1. Happy Jack (8-1)

Broke his maiden easily enough at six furlongs and was ambitiously placed in the Grade III Robert Lewis Stakes. Could not keep contact with the pack and was never in it. Beaten substantially by Cabo Spirit, who is in this race.

2. Worse Read Sanchez (20-1)

Gave connections a good read on his willingness, breaking his maiden on the turf at one mile in his third effort. Stormed from mid-pack, collected a lead around the turn and won a tight stretch duel. Had attitude to spare that day. Connections may not know if they have a better turf or dirt contender, but they have do time to experiment. Well meant, moving from maiden special weights to good-sized stakes.

3. Armagnac (5-1)

Did what was asked, prevailing in front-running fashion in just his second outing. Pace will probably be quicker than the relaxed 47.77 half-mile pace he was able to use to preserve enough kick to win by two. May not find himself in front, then what? Also moving up from maiden special weights. Will probably garner betting respect off the Bob Baffert training angle. Could be a pace factor to bother Forbidden Kingdom, helping Doppelganger. Has a win at this distance and at this track, both significant benefits.

4. Beautiful Art (12-1)

Improving. Won in second outing by four widening lengths at six furlongs in maiden special weights company. Outgunned the 1-2 favorite. Had lost one race earlier to Happy Jack. Ambitious step up in class and distance.

5.  Doppelganger (9-5)

Will have to prove he hasn’t peaked at this level. Had a sweet pace of 44.49 teed up and ready to run at in the San Vicente but was a decisively-beaten fourth at 4-5. Was forced to go wide and then had his run totally disrupted by a horse bearing out on him down the stretch. Momentum was ruined, and he did come again. Probably would have gotten second without the disruption. Backers of Doppelganger may give him a partial excuse for that.

6. Forbidden Kingdom (8-5)

Loves the front. Was gassed from a 43.23 half mile and could not hold off Messier in the Bob Hope. Fashioned “relaxed” fractions of 44.49 and then had enough left to prevail in the San Vincente. Stretches out to a championship distance to measure his credentials. Breeding is there via American Pharoah. Crossover race into distance company for a strong horse. Messier followed the same pattern nicely and is listed as possible for the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 9. Forbidden Kingdom will sacrifice some speed to get longer distance. Will be interesting to see how the horse is paced for first stretch out.

7. Cabo Spirit (12-1)

Showed plenty of spirit at 18-1 in the Robert Lewis. Pulled into second around the turn and held it, while Messier pulled out and left the field in his wake. Cabo Spirit was second by 15 lengths. Graduated maiden company last fall, shifted into stakes competition and has run gamely in three straight efforts. Showed promise as a future turf specialist with a convincing rally to win the Eddie Logan Stakes. Has now fashioned strong efforts, one on turf, one on dirt. Could be visible on the pace. Had slightly better time than Armagnac at this distance.

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Betting Strategies For 2022 San Felipe Stakes Odds

Short field, so you have to make a stand. I will take Forbidden Kingdom and will accept as low as 6-5 odds for a win bet. Doppelganger’s presence should keep Forbidden Kingdom’s odds above even money but anything below 6-5 is no play.

Doppelganger should be there and in position to challenge. But do you risk a lot in an exacta in which neither horse has gone the distance?

Armagnac can be a threat if either of the favorites don’t like the distance. On a day in which there are so many wonderful races, this is a good one to enjoy and bet lightly, while analyzing for Kentucky Derby considerations.

Road To Kentucky Derby Point Standings

The top-20 healthy horses in the standings after all KY Derby prep races have completed will be eligible to enter the Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in May. These standings are as of Friday, March 4.

164Steven M. Asmussen
2Zandon114Chad Brown
3White Abarrio
112Saffie Joseph, Jr.
4Mo Donegal112Todd Pletcher
5Tiz the Bomb110Kenny McPeek
6Cyberknife100Brad Cox
7Crown Pride (JPN)100Koichi Shintani
8Taiba100Tim Yakteen
74Antonio Sano
10Smile Happy
70Kenny McPeek
11Classic Causway66Brian Lynch
12Tawny Port60Brad Cox
13Barber Road
58John Ortiz
14Un Ojo
54Anthony W. Dutrow
15Messier40Tim Yakteen
16Zozos40Brad Cox
17Summer Is Tomorrow40Bhupat Seemar
18Charge It40Todd Pletcher
19Happy Jack30Doug O'Neill
20Pioneer of Medina25Todd Pletcher
21In Due Time24Kelly Breen
22Ethereal Road22D. Wayne Lukas
23Rich Strike21Eric Reed
24Rattle N Roll20Kenny McPeek

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Written by
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, who writes extensively on the emergence of legalized sports betting, is a recipient of the Sam Taub Award for Broadcast Excellence by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He has broadcast boxing for all the major networks over the last four decades and is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as well as the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. His work also can be seen at the Press of Atlantic City and iGamingPlayer.

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