OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 4. A generous purse of $1 million will be up for grabs along with 100-40-20-10 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby for three year olds willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Santa Anita's dirt track.
A small but competitive group of six Derby hopefuls will give it a go in the Santa Anita Derby - race 8 on Santa Anita's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 3:30 PM. Let's take a glance into the credentials of all six combatants for this intriguing and important Grade 1 stakes.
Dortmund - an early favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby (currently sixth in the point standings) will try to remain perfect in his career for trainer Bob Baffert - five career starts so far and five wins - all as morning line favorite. He made his stakes debut December 20 and posted a good win in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity after an Allowance Optional Claiming score by 7 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs November 29 and a 4 3/4 length maiden score in his debut - at Santa Anita November 2. Last time out he kept the roll going with a 1 1/4 length gate-to-wire win in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes here March 7 which followed an incredible rally win in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on this track February 7.He leaves from the rail Saturday with Martin Garcia in the saddle as overwhelming 3-5 favorite looking to keep the impressive run going - he has already qualified for the Derby but could make another huge statement here.
Prospect Park - has six career starts with two wins, two seconds and a third place finish. He enters off a decent second behind Dortmund in his graded stakes debut- the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes with a career best 102 Beyer Speed Figure March 7 and a two race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming by an impressive 5 1/4 lengths here January 30 and a maiden score November 27 also on this track. He has two wins and a second place finish in his last three starts and hopes to keep the roll going with Kent Desormeaux riding the 7-2 morning line second choice from post 5.
Bolo - has four career starts with two wins and a third place finish for trainer Carla Gaines including a victory in his stakes debut - the minor Eddie Logan Stakes on turf December 27. Last time out was a third behind Dortmund and Prospect Park in his dirt debut in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes - his graded stakes bow here March 7. Bolo has placed in his last three career starts and has improved every time out. Hopes are that the legend Mike Smith can carry that trend on from gate 4 as the 4-1 third betting choice.
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One Lucky Dane - Bob Baffert trained colt made his stakes debut in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and finished sixth after finally breaking maiden November on this track in his third career start - by 9 1/2 lengths. He has one start since the Breeders' Cup and it was a good one - an Allowance Optional Claiming score by an impressive 9 3/4 lengths here March 19. One Lucky Dane has won two of his last three starts and could be a sneaky entry for this one. Rafael Bejarano will be in charge of the 5-1 shot as One Lucky Dane attempts to make a statement - from post 3.
Cross the Line - Jerry Hollendorfer trained colt has placed in all five career starts (all at Golden Gate) and enters off a good second in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby February 14 and a nice two race win streak. Two starts back was a win in the minor California Derby January 17 after a maiden score December 26. Cross the Line has been competitive every time out and has shown steady improvement. Juan Hernandez has the call from post 3 at 15-1 odds in Cross the Line's first start on dirt.
Bad Read Sanchez - has placed in all three career starts for trainer Doug O'Neill. He enters off a respectable third in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar way back in August after a good second in the minor W.L. Proctor Memorial at Los Alamitos in July and a maiden score by 10 lengths at first asking. Bad Read Sanchez hopes to keep the upward trend going Saturday when he tries two turns for the first time from gate 6 with Mario Gutierrez in the saddle the longest shot in the field (30-1).
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