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Malibu Stakes; Holy Lute

2013 Malibu Stakes(GI); It May Be After Christmas But It Still Seems Holy To Me

The site of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Santa Anita Park, is getting set to unveil its winter-spring race offerings with the 2013 Malibu Stakes which is set for Thursday, December 26th, 2013. The race is run at 7F on the dirt for 3 year-olds with a purse of $300,000. Also on the card for the day are the La Brea Stakes and the Sir Beaufort Stakes. This race usually attracts some of America’s best horses following the Breeders’ Cup.

Inaugurated in 1952 as the Malibu Sequet Stakes, its name was changed to the present style in 1958. There was a Malibu Stakes run in January and December of the same year in 1955, 1960, 1966, and 1984. It was run in two divisions in 1972, 1975, 1977, 1981, and 1984.

Holy Lute Horse

Holy Lute, with 12-1 odds, will team up with jockey Mike Smith for the 2013 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Thursday, December 27th.

The speed record for this race is held by Twirling Candy in 1:19.70 set in 2010. The most wins by a jockey are by Bill Shoemaker with eight and the most wins by a trainer are by Richard Mandella with five. In 2012 Jimmy Creed won this race for Richard Mandella.

The Malibu Stakes is the 8th race of the day on a card of 9 with a start time of 3:52 pm, PST.

This salty field of 12 looks to be headlined by the Bob Baffert trained son of Tapit, Flashback, who was the beaten favorite in the (GI) Santa Anita Derby on April 6th and he went on hiatus for the rest of the spring/summer meets. He returned November 2nd in the Damascus Stakes on November 2nd at Santa Anita during the Breeders’ Cup weekend to be beaten by Zeewat who also returns in this race.

After a disappointing finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), the James Cassidy trained gray son of Midnight Lute/Holy Christmas/Holy Bull, Holy Lute, will be looking for a bounce-back race. Last out he finished 10th at Santa Anita Park on November 1st in the Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile. Prior he has a third-place performance in the Indiana Derby (G2) at Indiana Downs on October 5th. He won the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on August 30 just 20 days after breaking his maiden by 2 ¼ lengths over the same track on his second try. Holy Lute has a race record of 5:2:0:2 and earnings of $163,822. Holy Lute recently worked 5F at Santa Anita on the main track December 17th in 1:01 18/34 and posted a bullet workout at Santa Anita on December 10th 5F in 59.20 1/25. He gets post #8 with Mike Smith up to ride again.

Another gray in here and the son of Tapit, Flashback, was in the limelight with a 6 1/4 length victory in only his second start in the (GII) 1 1/16b miles Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on February 2, 2013. In his most recent race, the Damascus Stakes, he broke slowly from the rail gunned for the outside and chased 3 deep around the turn to run wide in the stretch and battled up from with Zeewat who previaled for the win. He lost by a head. Flashback has a race record of 5:2:3:0, impressive. He recently worked a rapid 6F drill from the gate in 1:11.40 on December 16th at Santa Anita and will be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario and leaves from post #4.

For the 2013 Malibu Stakes I’m going with Holy Lute for the win here. He does have a win at a mile on the synthetic in the El Cajon and has been steadily training on the dirt for two months at Santa Anita and I like this post for him. Prior to finishing 10th in that Breeders’ Cup race, he hasn’t been off the board. I love his pedigree and being out of the Holy Bull Mare, Holy Christmas, how can I not pick him in a race the day after Christmas? I’m hoping with the speed up front this guy can cruise in to win.

It looks like the speed will come from the outside with Bakken & Distinctiv Passion. I think Flashback will hit the board and is the scariest to me here. The boy has never finished worse than second. Last out he had a slow trip and bad post even though it was only a five horse field. He should do well but may like two-turns better down the road. Bafferts other two in here Shakin It Up and Zee Bros are both returning off layoffs of six months or more so I’m not keen on them.

I aslo like Hollendorfer’s Zeewat in this race. I won some money on him in the Damascus, just not sure about him winning; however, I could see him hitting the board too and give Flashback another run for his money. I always like to leave a speed horse in the mix if I’m betting exactas or trifectas and in this race I would use the Chad Brown trained Bakken. So my picks for this race are #8 to win, followed in no particular order by 4,5 & 10. Good luck to all and safe run!

2013 Malibu Stakes Post Positions & Odds
1. Syndicated 30/1 V.Espinoza/M.Pender
2. Shakin It Up 15/1 D.Flores/B.Baffert
3. Heir of Storm 6/1 G.Stevens/P.Miller
4. Flashback 7/2 J.Rosario/B.Baffert
5. Zeewat 9/2 R.Bejarano/J.Hollendorfer
6. Demonic 12/1 C.Nakatani/J.Sadler SCRATCHED
7. Central Banker 6/1 J.Talamo/A.Stall Jr.
8. Holy Lute 12/1 M.Smith/J.Cassidy
9. Zee Bros 10/1 M.Garcia/B.Baffert
10. Bakken 6/1 J.Castellano/C.Brown
11. Distinctiv Passion 6/1 E.Maldonado/J.Bonde
12. Our Double Play 15/1 C.Torres/P.A.Bauer
UPDATED RESULTS: 2, 7, 5, 4, 10, 12, 3, 11, 1, 9, 8

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