Malibu Stakes Preview (Race of the Week), by Stephen Wong

Malibu Stakes Preview

Race of the Week 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

After two off days in the racing world, the action picks up Saturday with great races from coast to coast. Santa Anita will host several big races, including the Malibu Stakes. DanonymousRacing.com international handicapper Stephen Wong (@sw064351has put together a preview of the race, including some historical trends to be aware of in the Malibu. 

We thank Stephen for sharing his thoughts today. Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter when you get a moment.

Form Focus (Dirt editions only)

The Malibu Stakes is run on the dirt over seven furlongs (2007-2009 the exception when contested on Cushion Track) and was upgraded to Grade I status in 1995.

 

Right Lead Up

Winners have come from everywhere. Since 1995, five have won first-up from a spell while four stepped up from allowance grade. In the last four years three bounced back from unplaced Breeders’ Cup runs to win – The Factor (2011), Jimmy Creed (2012) and Shared Belief (2014).

 

Favorites
Favorites have fared poorly in the Malibu with just three winning, Afternoon Deelites (1995), The Factor (2011) and Shared Belief (2014). Six have saluted at double-figure odds, most recently Shakin It Up in 2013.

 

 

Runner By Runner

Pain and Misery

Going okay since being freshened but looks tested in this grade.

 

Marking

Lightly raced colt who rises in grade following a dominant allowance win at Aqueduct. Can measure up.

 

Watershed

Safely held in the King’s Bishop but he showed good acceleration when putting away his rivals in an allowance at Keeneland. Keep in mind.

 

Runhappy

Overcame a slow start to comfortably win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Untried at Santa Anita but drops back to his own age group. The one to beat.

 

El Kabeir

Rallied to just get up in the City of Laurel Stakes last time and has trained well since. Each-way claims.

 

Bad Read Sanchez

Made no impression in the Santa Anita Derby when taken back and hasn’t raced since. Faces a task.

 

Lord Nelson

Resumes from a spell but has a solid record over this distance and is proven fresh. Flashed home in the Bay Shore earlier this year and will be hard to hold out.

 

 

Selections

7 Lord Nelson

4 Runhappy

5 El Kabeir

 

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