X
Skip to content

Express Train Powering Through Rare Treble

The Big ‘Cap Runs at Santa Anita

The Santa Anita Handicap, or the Big ‘Cap, is the featured race this weekend and it has attracted a stellar field.

Headlining the field of eight is Express Train, who is looking to become the first horse since Farma Way in 1991 to win the San Antonio Stakes, San Pasqual Stakes, and Big ‘Cap in the same season.

Express Train Powering Through Rare Treble
DANTE FERNANDEZ / AFP

Horse racing betting markets have put Express Train on top but the likes of Stilleto Boy and Warrant will be closing in.

All Aboard the Express Train

There aren’t many Thoroughbreds as consistent as Express Train and his confidence levels are sky high after consecutive wins.

The John Shirreffs-trained 5-year-old won the San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita before doubling down to win the San Pasqual Stakes over the likes of Law Professor and Eight Rings.

It’s similar opposition to what he faces in the Big ‘Cap, so he’s a runner worth sticking with and Shirreffs is confident.

“He’s coming up to the race very well,” Shirreffs told Blood Horse. “I think he’s been very consistent. He ran well last time, and I don’t see any reason he wouldn’t do it again.

“We’re looking forward to the Big ‘Cap.”

Express Train finished second in the race last year behind Idol, so he’s an excellent chance to go one better.

He’s the highest-rated horse in the field at 124, with the next best being Warrant and Stilleto Boy at 121.

The sportsbook will have him at short odds to win the $650,000 feature and we wouldn’t leave him out of selections.

Pick: Express Train

Stilleto Boy to Walk the Walk

He hasn’t won for over a year, but there is nothing wrong with the form of Stilleto Boy, who comes off some top-level races.

The 4-year-old gelding scored back-to-back wins in 2021, culminating in the Iowa Derby. He hasn’t won in six subsequent races, but placing in the Awesome Again Stakes and the Pegasus World Cup is red-hot form.

He finished third behind Life is Good and Knicks Go in the Pegasus, who are two of the best Thoroughbreds in the country.

It followed up a placing behind Flightline in the Malibu Stakes, so despite having no recent winning form, he’s knocking loudly on the door.

He also ran fifth in the Breeders’ Cup behind Knicks Go, which should be a good betting online guide.

“I think he’ll benefit from the mile and a quarter,” trainer Ed Moger said. “He ran well at that distance in the Breeders’ Cup, but the race was just too tough for him.”

Moger said his runner was tired when coming back from Florida, but he has bounced back quickly.

“After about four days, we had to get him back to the track,” said Moger. “He was tearing the barn down, so he’s doing really good.”

He’s the biggest danger to Express Train and they’re an excellent chance to quinella the Big ‘Cap.

Blockbuster Result for Spielberg?

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Bob Baffert get up with Spielberg, who has shown enough ability to take out the Santa Anita Handicap.

The son of Union Rags won the Los Alamitos Futurity in 2020 when beating The Great One and Petruchio, so the class is there.

He has scored one win since that time and it came in allowance grades, but he wasn’t far behind Express Train in the San Pasqual Stakes last start.

It’s a step in the right direction and his best form comes at Santa Anita. He has had four stars at the track for a win, a placing, and two fourths.

Bettors could get value odds for Spielberg on race day and he’s worth including at the price.

Did you find this article interesting?

Comments (0)