Big ‘Cap: Newgrange, Newgate Top Field; Odds, Picks

It’s Big ‘Cap Day at Santa Anita on Sunday, and horseplayers face some tough decisions when wagering on the $400,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1).

A wide-open field of seven older horses are entered, with Newgrange the slight 5-2 morning-line favorite over 3-1 Highland Falls in the 87th edition of the 1 ¼-mile race.


Any of the other five are win possibilities: Bob Baffert’s pair of Reincarnate (8-1) and Newgate (4-1), Mixto (6-1), Salesman (6-1), and Subsanador (5-1).

The race was originally scheduled for Saturday, but Santa Anita shifted the card to Sunday due to heavy rains in the forecast.

Trainer Phil D’Amato, a perennial leader on the Southern California circuit, sends out Newgrange looking for his first victory in the race known as the Big ‘Cap.

Newgrange opened his 5-year-old campaign with a gate-to-wire, one-length victory in the San Pasqual (G2) on Jan. 27. He closed out last year with a 2 ¼-length win in the San Antonio (G2) on Dec. 26.

Hall of Fame rider Victor Espinoza has the call from post 7 as Newgrange looks to amend a seventh-place finish in the 2023 ‘Big Cap won by Stilleto Boy. His resume is impressive: 13-7-0-4 for just over $1 million in earnings for owners Rockingham Ranch, David Bernsen, and Little Red Feather Racing.

Newgate looks to avenge his runner-up finish to Newgrange in the San Pasqual in what was just his second start since being off for nearly a year after winning the 2023 Robert B. Lewis (G3). Frankie Dettori has the call from post 5.

Reincarnate, 13th in the 2023 Kentucky Derby (G1), makes his first start of the year. He finished sixth in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and ninth in the Twilight Derby at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.

Lightly raced Highland Falls, trained by Brad Cox, poses a big threat. The 4-year-old son of Curlin has won three of his four starts, including a 1/16-mile allowance win at the Fair Grounds on Jan. 13.

Seven-year-old Salesman, a winner at 1 5/8 miles in the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G2) on the Breeders’ Cup undercard Nov. 4, gives trainer Richard Mandella a shot at his fourth Big ‘Cap.

Post time for the Santa Anita Handicap is 7 p.m. ET

The picks: 1 Newgate 2 Highland Falls 3 Newgrange

The field for the $400,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1), with jockey, trainer, odds:

1 Reincarnate (Juan Hernandez, Bob Baffert), 8-1

2 Highland Falls (Umberto Rispoli, Brad Cox), 3-1

3 Mixto (Antonio Fresu, Doug O’Neill), 6-1

4 Salesman (Flavie Prat, Richard Mandella),6-1

5 Newgate (Frankie Dettori, Bob Baffert), 4-1

6 Subsanador (Hector Berrios, John Sadler), 5-1

7 Newgrange (Victor Espinoza, Phil D’Amato), 5-2




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