In another shocker of an outcome today, 45/1 shot Miss Match nipped the favorite Switch at the line to win the GI $300k, going 1 1/8 mile for 4yo & up fillies and mares, Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes today at Santa Anita Park with Vision of Gold coming 3rd and St Trinians finishing 4th.
We had the 2nd, 3rd and 4th horses all picked out for you in our race preview but Miss Match winning here didn’t help our cause! This race did however illuminate something for us about this new Santa Anita dirt surface.
In year’s past on the poly surface here, at championship distances like 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 mile, horses like Switch, St Trinians and Always a Princess who were all brought up on the poly are starting to find that “dirt” is more demanding, especially in deep stretch at longer distances.
This race confirms last week’s Santa Anita Handicap outcome where Game on Dude with longer distance dirt experience held sway and Miss Match coming into her race today with a ton of east coast, longer distances, dirt experience just played well for her today against her polybred opponents.
So the So/Cal horses are going to have to learn to rate a little bit more in these longer route tests on dirt at Santa Anita or face more and more loses to east coast shippers who are coming out west to eat their lunch! See race replay below!