Las Vegas, NV -- The 75th running of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby comes our way this Saturday, April 7th from beautiful Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Three year old Triple Crown hopefuls will be chasing the $750,000 purse over a distance of 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's main track.
The Santa Anita Derby is the last chance for many of the West Coast Kentucky Derby contenders to flex their muscle before the Triple Crown. A strong field of 10 will go in race 6 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a scheduled post time of 2:30 PM. For those of you unaware - NBC will broadcast the event live!
Here is a breakdown of the 10 contenders and their recent results:
Creative Cause - Creative Cause was impressive in winning the San Felipe Stakes on this track on March 10th but before that had finished third in the previous two starts - at the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on February 19th and at the Grade 1 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in November. Creative Cause also has wins at the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita and the 6 ½ furlong Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar. He will race with the blinkers off for the first time but doesn't need the win to qualify for the Kentucky Derby based on his previous results - he is firmly established as one of the favorites.
Liaison - Liaison enters the Santa Anita Derby in a bit of a slump. After being considered a serious contender for the Kentucky Derby, Liaison finished a disappointing fourth in the San Felipe Stakes March 10th and before that clipped heels before falling in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. Liaison won the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity for trainer Bob Baffert on December 17th and the Real Quiet Stakes on November 12th at Hollywood Park and is certainly one of the horses to beat.
I'll Have Another - most recently won the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes by 2 ¾ lengths on this track on February 4th after a long layoff. Before that he had a second at the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar but he followed that up with a disappointing sixth place finish at the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga in September of last year. I'll Have Another needs a win or a second to qualify for the Kentucky Derby.
Paynter - is another one of the three Bob Baffert horses in the field and has just one career race - an impressive 4 ½ length win in a 4 ½ furlong Maiden Special Weight race on February 18th at Santa Anita. Paynter is fast!
Midnight Transfer - After a slow career start Midnight Transfer has been very impressive - a surprise third at the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes after two straight wins - the San Pedro Stakes on January 22nd and a Maiden Special Weight race on December 26th both at Santa Anita.
Longview Drive - was very good to start his career - three wins in four races including the Charlie Palmer Futurity and the Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes at Santa Rosa. Recently however, Longview Drive was a disappointing sixth at the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Before the Southwest he looked promising with third place finishes in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes and the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot.
Holy Candy - broke his maiden on March 23rd at Santa Anita and before that strung together three second place finishes in Maiden Special Weight races.
Senor Rain - has a staggering 10 career starts with three wins. Most recently won an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Santa Anita and before that was a disappointing 9th in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate on February 18th.
Blueskiesandrainbows - the last of the Baffert colts most recently had a two race win streak snapped with a third place finish in an Allowance Optional Claiming race at Santa Anita February 9th.
Brother Francis - has four career starts - no wins, two thirds and two second place finishes. Intriguing results include a third at the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity in December and a second in the race before it at the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes.
Race 6 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 2:30 PM.
||I'll Have Another