2016 Malibu Stakes Looks Awfully Tight

2016 Malibu Stakes previewIs Mor Spirit the one to beat at the 2016 Malibu Stakes?

The 2016 Malibu Stakes has a very intriguing field that is bolstered by candidates like Mind Your Biscuits and Mor Spirit. All will be seeking to join the annals of history alongside greats such as Runhappy, Shared Belief and Twirling Candy. Who is ready to take home one of the biggest races remaining in the calendar year?

Trainer Bob Baffert has submitted three horses in to the 2016 Malibu Stakes and all of them have received favourable odds from the bookies. Ten Blessings is a relative unknown but is standing at 3/1 while both Mor Spirit and Jazzy Times have been handed 6/1  and 8/1 odds of their own.

Mor Spirit is easily the most well known having won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and the Los Alamitos Futurity earlier this year on the derby trail. He also came second at the San Felipe and the Santa Anita Stakes before trailing all the way to 10th at the Kentucky Derby. That was the last time we saw Mor Spirit, so it will be very interesting to see what he has left.

Mind Your Biscuits has been the one to watch in this race for quite some time. While many like this trainee of Robert Falcone Jr., I’m not as high on him to claim a grade-I stakes victory. He did come second at the Breeders’ Cup Sprint but also fell to fifth at the King’s Bishop. How he fares at the 2016 Malibu Stakes depends entirely on whether the rest of the field has any studs.

Many would try to convince you that Sharp Azteca is one of those and I’m big on this three-year-old. The Pat Day Mile winner has had time to rest for the majority of the fall since finishing 4th at the Super Derby Prelude in late August, so this Jorge Navvaro trainee should be in top form. I expect big things out of this horse, who is well worth a standalone play.

Semper Fortis is another flier worth tracking despite some lackluster wins in stakes races – namely that he doesn’t have one. In his last two races, the three-year-old has finished as a runner-up at the Los Alamitos Derby and the Shared Belief Stakes. At 12/1, he’s not a terrible dart throw but lumping him in to a parlay is out of the question. At least from things that make sense.

People have equally mixed feeling about Awesome Banner, a runner who is 4-2-0 in 8 starts and is carrying two runner-up placings in his last outings. I think the window has closed but the oddsmakers are hedging against pedigree here by slapping Awesome Banner with respectable 8/1 odds.

Who’s Out? and Horse Greedy are the two longshots in the 2016 Malibu Stakes.

For me, the plays remain Mind Your Biscuits and Mor Spirit in whatever combinations you deem worthy.

2016 Malibu Stakes – Monday, December 26th at Santa Anita Stakes
7 Furlongs – 3 Year Olds – $300,000

PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Mind Your Biscuits (NY) Joel Rosario 121 Robert N. Falcone, Jr. 5/2
2 Semper Fortis (KY) Mario Gutierrez 119 Doug F. O’Neill 12/1
3 Ten Blessings (KY) Rafael Bejarano 119 Bob Baffert 3/1
4 Jazzy Times (KY) Martin Garcia 119 Bob Baffert 8/1
5 Who’s Out (KY) Flavien Prat 119 Jerry Hollendorfer 20/1
6 Sharp Azteca (KY) Edgard J. Zayas 121 Jorge Navarro 3/1
7 Mor Spirit (PA) Mike E. Smith 121 Bob Baffert 6/1
8 Awesome Banner (FL) Julien R. Leparoux 121 Mark E. Casse 8/1
9 Horse Greedy (KY) Jamie Theriot 119 Brian J. Koriner 30/1

 

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