Road to the Kentucky Derby: San Felipe Stakes
The Grade II San Felipe Stakes is a Championship Series race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The $300,000 race has been run since 1935 and contested at the current 1 1/16 mile distance since 1952. The San Felipe is restricted to 3-year-olds and is the final prep race before the Santa Anita Derby on April 3.
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San Felipe Stakes
The top four finishers will receive 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The winner will earn enough points for a spot in the starting gate at the May 1 Kentucky Derby.
Saturday, March 6, 2021. Post, odds, jockey, trainer. Race 6 with post time 5:45 p.m. EST.
1 – Life Is Good (4-5)
- Jockey: Mike Smith
- Trainer: Bob Baffert
2 – Dream Shake (5-1)
- Jockey: Joel Rosario
- Trainer: Peter Eurton
3 – Medina Sprint (7-2)
- Jockey: John Velazquez
- Trainer: Bob Baffert
4 – None Above the Law (30-1)
- Jockey: Flavien Prat
- Trainer: Peter Miller
5 – The Great One (4-1)
- Jockey: Abel Cedillo
- Trainer: Doug O’Neill
6 – Governor’s Party (50-1)
- Jockey: Mario Gutierrez
- Trainer: Daniel Franko
7 – Roman Centurian (8-1)
- Jockey: Juan Hernandez
- Trainer: Simon Callaghan
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Race contenders, including Life Is Good profile
Trainer Bob Baffert has the two favorites in the race, Life Is Good and Medina Spirit. Life Is Good is 2 for 2 after winning the 1-mile Sham Stakes (G3) on Jan. 2 over a late-rallying Medina Spirit. Life Is Good posted a strong 110 Equibase Speed Figure (ESF) in that race and has come back with three bullets at 5 and 6 furlongs on his work tab this month in preparation for this race. Life Is Good is a son of Into Mischief, who also sired last year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Authentic.
Following his close runner-up finish to Life Is Good in the Sham, Medina Spirit set a rapid pace and won the 1 1/16 mile Robert B. Lewis (G3) by a neck over Roman Centurian. He was 11 lengths in front of another Baffert runner, Spielberg, who finished second in last weekend’s Southwest Stakes behind leading Kentucky Derby favorite Essential Quality.
Dream Shake was unraced as a 2-year-old. He jumps from a strong maiden score at 20-1 odds sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs to a Grade II race around two turns. He’ll need even faster fractions to close against these stronger runners.
The Great One is sired by Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. He’s named after hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, and he broke his maiden in January with a 14-length romp at 1 mile. The Great One lost by a nose in December to Spielberg in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) at long odds. He’s steadily increased his speed figures and posted 104 ESF in his victory.
San Felipe Winners
The San Felipe race favorite has finished first or second in each of the last nine editions. The 2020 and 2014 San Felipe winners, Authentic and California Chrome, also went on to win the Kentucky Derby.
|2018||Bolt d’Oro||6-5||$4.40||1:42.71||Stalking||2nd, DQ|
|2013||Hear the Ghost||5-1||$13.80||1:42.34||Midpack||2nd|
|2011||Premier Pegasus||7-1||$18.60||1:41.23||Midpack/off pace||2nd|
The San Felipe has been won by Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown winners Affirmed (1978) and California Chrome (2014), Kentucky Derby winners Sunday Silence (1989) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), Preakness and Belmont winner Point Given (2001) and last year’s Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Authentic.