The 2018 Robert B Lewis Stakes will run the day before Super Bowl LII, and hopefully propel a lucky runner to the forefront of attention when it comes to the California trail to the Kentucky Derby. This is a very early precursor to the Santa Anita Derby in a few months, and features a wide open field that will attempt to be the first horse since I’ll Have Another to properly contend in the Triple Crown.
There aren’t many known quantities in a race chalk full of maiden winners. The only own the relevant stakes experience is Inscom, who finished 2nd in the Eddie Logan Stakes, and Shivermetimbers, a 4th place funner in the Sham Stakes.
One of the more intriguing entries is Dark Vader, a Tale of Ekati colt who last won his maiden after some rough allowance entries later in the 2017 season. He will be the main horse of interest in the 2018 Robert B Lewis Stakes, but buyer’s should beware long term. Peter Eurton is his trainer, and has not had any success in producing a Triple Crown competitor.
Pepe Tono is sure to gain some steam at the window following his recent win in a Santa Anita allowance earlier in January of this year. The Garcia brothers product covered one mile in 1:39.55, which isn’t an outright blazing time in and of itself. But given that he has already enjoyed success on this track, the advantage will surely go to him when it comes to 2018 Robert B Lewis Stakes betting.
Finally, Peace enters with a lot riding on this race. The Richard Mandella trainee lost to Shivermetimbers last November, but rallied to end his year with a great performance in a win at 1 1/16th miles which was also on the Santa Anita track. He will most notably the favorite on the board when the odds are eventually released and deserves it with a 1-2-0 record over three starts.
The best way to appraoch this race is an exacta box on Pepe Tono, Dark Vader and Peace. A more brazen bet is Peace to win. The 2018 Robert B Lewis Stakes is on Saturday, February 3rd and offers a 10-4-2-1 point split to the top four finishers.
2018 Robert B Lewis Stakes – Saturday, February 3rd at Santa Anita
1 1/16th Miles – 3 Year Olds – $150,000
|1||Ayacara (GB)||Kent J. Desormeaux||120||J. Keith Desormeaux||–|
|2||Pepe Tono (KY)||Evin A. Roman||120||Victor L. Garcia||–|
|3||Dark Vader (OH)||Stewart Elliott||120||Peter Eurton||–|
|4||Lombo (KY)||Flavien Prat||120||Michael Pender||–|
|5||Shivermetimbers (KY)||Rafael Bejarano||120||Jerry Hollendorfer||–|
|6||Inscom (KY)||Tyler Baze||120||Simon Callaghan||–|
|7||Peace (KY)||Mike E. Smith||120||Richard E. Mandella||–|
|8||Regulate (KY)||Joseph Talamo||120||Bob Baffert||–|
|9||Blame the Rider (KY)||Mario Gutierrez||120||Doug F. O’Neill|