Road to the Kentucky Derby: A look at the market ahead of the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes

The $300,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park features a pair of Bob Baffert-trained horses as the favorites on Saturday.

Life is Good is at 1/1 in the early odds followed by Medina Spirit at 7/2. Both horses recorded prep series race wins in their last outing.

The Grade 2 race awards points on a 50-20-10-5 scale in the Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying series. Although the field is limited, with only seven horses entered, it is deep with five legitimate Derby hopefuls running, with four of them already having qualifying points to their credit.

Authentic won the 2020 San Felipe, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke
Authentic won the 2020 San Felipe, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke

A look at the field

Life is Good won the $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park on January 2 in only his second career race. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith took Life is Good virtually wire to wire, battling his stablemate Medina Spirit for the duration, ultimately holding on for a ¾-length victory.

Even though there were only five horses in the field, he still picked up 10 qualifying points for the win and is looking to clinch a berth in the Kentucky Derby with another finish ahead of the seven-entrant field.

Medina Spirit bounced back from the close loss, returning to Santa Anita on January 30 to win the $100,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes. The race was full of Derby contenders, but Medina Spirit went off as the even odds favorite and didn't disappoint. He took the lead at the quarter-mile pole and held off a charging Roman Centurian to win by a neck.

Other top contenders

With one Derby prep race under his belt, a second-place finish by a nose to Spielberg at the Los Alamitos Futurity, The Great One is looking to build on a Maiden win in his last race on January 23 at Santa Anita. He showed terrific speed in dominating the four-horse field by 14 lengths but will be severely tested by the field in the San Felipe at odds of 9/2.

Roman Centurian, with just three races and only one of those being a stakes contest, will be a bit of a wild card on Saturday. The Simon Callaghan trained 3-year-old has early odds of 6/1 and is hoping not to get nosed out again.

The second place in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes was impressive, as Roman Centurian was able to finish in front of Derby contenders Hot Rod Charlie and Spielberg.

Also contending

The last of the serious contenders in the San Felipe Stakes is relative newcomer Dream Shake, who didn't make his career debut until winning a maiden outing at Santa Anita on February 7. That race was only at 6½ furlongs, so the increase in distance will be tough to gauge without any other races to go on.

He showed terrific speed in his almost five-length win, but he'll be asked to keep it going longer and against a much stronger field. Dream Shake is at 6/1 odds and might be worthy of a place bet given his limited racing experience.

READ MORE: Contests galore on the biggest day of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series

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