News and STORIES

Harvest Moon Looking to Rise Above the Competition in the Santa Margarita

Author: Chris Adams
Published: Thursday April 22, 2021

The Santa Margarita Stakes (G2) takes place on Saturday at Santa Anita. The field gets some class relief as the monsters of the division raced last weekend.

History of the Santa Margarita Stakes

  • The Santa Margarita Stakes was a grade 1 event for most of its history until being downgraded to a grade 2 in 2019. 
  • Past winners include fan-favorite Zenyatta in 2010 and Azeri in 2002. 

Significant Stories Heading Into the San Margarita

The biggest story is who won’t be in the race. With the prestigious Apple Blossom last weekend at Oaklawn, many of the top horses in the division won’t be running here. This provides an easier spot for the next tier of older dirt females to showcase their talents as many in this field have fallen as casualties to monsters like Monomoy Girl and Swiss Skydiver.

The Santa Margarita Runners

  1. Pharoah’s Heart: finished 2nd behind a good horse in Crystal Ball in her last start. This race will be her first shot at stakes company. However, this horse has a lot of upside as she will be making only her 4th career start in this spot and is among the runners with the most chance to dramatically improve. This is especially true as she will attempt a route distance for only the second time in her career.

  2. As Time Goes By: is the other Bob Baffert and comes into this race following her debut in stakes company where she ran 2nd behind Swiss Skydiver and ahead of Harvest Moon. She has never finished worse than 3rd in 5 career starts and has finished in the exacta in the four starts after her debut.

  3. This Tea finished: 2nd to As Time Goes By in 2020, but it took her 8 starts just to get her first win. Since then she has been swimming in deep waters and appears to be way overmatched by the allowance and stakes company she’s tried to keep. In each of her three starts since breaking her maiden, she has finished 5th. It seems like the connections want this horse to be better than she is.

  4. Harvest Moon: was on a four-race win streak until she ran into Monomoy Girl and Swiss Skydiver in back-to-back starts. She looks to make an impression on this field but will need to get by As Time Goes By who finished two spots ahead of her in the last race.

  5. Clockstrikestwelve: is trained by Golden Gate super trainer Jonathan Wong but seems a bit light to be taking on this level of competition. In her first race against stakes company, she finished 6th in the Beholder Mile. This included finishing behind 3 of today’s other challengers. Horses do seem to improve second time doing anything so perhaps a jump-up is possible here. 

Daily Horse Picks Jockey/Trainer Tool

Daily Horse Picks has released a new Top Jockey and Top Trainer tool that players can use as a part of their analysis. Here’s what the data says about the runners in this race:

The ratings below are based on using the following filters:

  • Track: Santa Anita Park
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Condition: Dirt Fast
  • Distance: 1 1/16 Mile
    • This distance was used because so few races are run at the 1 ⅛ mile distance which limited data to single race sample sizes. Races over a mile tend to have similar race dynamics so this is still preferable to looking at all race distances.
  • Condition: Stakes
    • For trainers, this filter was removed to create a meaningful sample size.
  • Barrier: Filter Not Set

Each jockey and trainer DHP rating is listed in parenthesis.

Harvest Moon

  • Jockey: Flavien Prat (Great)
  • Trainer: Simon Callaghan (Great)

As Time Goes By

  • Jockey: Mike Smith (Great)
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert (Great)

Pharoah’s Heart

  • Jockey: Umerto Rispoli (Good)
  • Trainer: Mark Glatt (Great)

This Tea

  • Jockey: Kent Desormeaux (Good)
  • Trainer: George Papaprodromou (Bad)


  • Jockey: Abel Cedillo (Bad)
  • Trainer: Jonathan Wong (Bad)