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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

CLOSING THE YEAR WITH A BANG WITH SANTA ANITA PARK’S MALIBU STAKES

By HRI Foreign Staff — A Grade 1 race ran on the Santa Anita Park course in California, The Malibu Stakes is one the the big names on the American horse racing calendar and one of the must-see events of the supercharged December horse racing fest.

Horse racing is way more than what happens in the UK, and there is a real passion for the sport across the world, so you might want to keep your eyes on what happens everywhere else, especially as the year whines down and one of the last big dates on the American calendar comes into the fray.

The Malibu Stakes is not just another race, but the must-see of the American runners around this time of the year. An annual run slated for every 26th of December, the Malibu Stakes adds an extra touch of entertainment to boxing day fun, and why not? Some more money in the pockets of action lovers like you and me.

The first of the Santa Anita Park’s Strub Series, the Malibu Stakes is a seven furlongs race, ran on the left-handed dirt track of the Santa Anita racecourse. The place to be for three-year-olds working their way up to be Kentucky Derby favorites or much more, the race is set for thoroughbreds of either gender and promises a hefty $300,000 prizemoney. 

Another Malibu Stakes and maybe another win for a Richard Mandella horse?

For some reason, Richard Mandella horses just get this track, and after another success last year with Omaha Beach, there is no doubt he is one of the greatest trainers to ever come of the US and in Malibu Stakes history. The Hall of Famer has six wins at the Malibu Stakes, his first coming all the way back in 1988.

Another trainer to be on the lookout for is Bob Baffert, who robins Mandella at the Malibu Stakes. Charlatan is the name that is touted to be the top pick amongst Baffert-trained horses, after a long layoff with an ankle injury dating back to June. Beyond injury, the horse will have a lot to prove as well, after a failed drug test that most likely played a part in its missing Belmont and the Kentucky Derby.

Nashville, trained by Steve Asmussen is another one of the names on the watch out column and will have some attention to it as punters make their choices and fans await unbridled entertainment.

The end of the year is usually the time when the big names start to pace themselves for the big races in the beginning months of the new year, and it will come as no surprise to see some of the horses in races like the Malibu Stakes, making a splash in either big name international races once we move into 2021. 

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