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OffTrackBetting.com - Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California will be the scene of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 9. Three year olds will be featured when they take to Santa Anita's dirt track and race 1 1/8 miles for the winner's share of the $1 million purse and the 100-40-20-10 qualifying points allotment for the first through fourth place finisher for next month's Kentucky Derby.
An impressive field of 10 will give it a go in the Santa Anita Derby - race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday schedule. Post time is 3:30 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all 10 entries for this intriguing, important and lucrative Grade 1 Road to the Kentucky Derby stakes.
Mor Spirit 8-5 - Bob Baffert trained Ringling has six career starts with three wins and three second place finishes - favored in every race so far. Last time out was a second place finish behind Danzing Candy in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on this track March 12 after terrific win in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes here February 6 and a nice win in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity with an impressive 96 Beyer Speed Figure December 19. He's also posted a respectable second in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 28 and a maiden score by an eye-opening 4 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita October 23. Mor Spirit has been a factor in every race so far and hopes to keep climbing the Derby leaderboard Saturday. The morning line favorite chases his third graded stakes score from gate 4 with Gary Stevens in the reins.
Danzing Candy 9-5 - Clifford Sise trained colt has three wins in four career starts. He made his stakes debut March 12 and produced a terrific win by two lengths over Mor Spirit among others in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on this track. That win followed an impressive 5 3/4 length gate-to-wire Allowance Optional Claiming score on this track February 4, a maiden score here December 26 and an eighth place finish in his debut. Danzing Candy has strung together three straight wins ahead of this weekend and is expected to be in the mix yet again. Mike Smith has been tabbed with keeping the roll going on the morning line second choice from post 3.
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Exaggerator 4-1 - Keith Desormeaux trained colt has three wins, two runner-ups and a third place finish in eight career starts. He arrives on the heels of an OK third behind Danzing Candy and Mor Spirit in the competitive Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes here March 12 after a runner-up finish behind undefeated Eclipse Champion Nyquist in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes on this track February 15, a terrific win with a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21 and a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Before that was a respectable second in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October and a nice win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special in August. Exaggerator has been very competitive so far and hopes to take another step closer toward a start in the Kentucky Derby when he leaves from gate 2 with Kent Desormeaux in the irons.
Iron Rob 12-1 - has 10 career starts already for trainer George Papaprodromou with three wins and two second place finishes. He arrives on the heels of a two race win streak (both minor stakes) - the San Pedro Stakes March 20 and the Baffle Stakes February 21 - both results on this track. Those wins followed a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming in January and a MSW score in December. Iron Rob has won here of his last four starts and could be a sneaky threat Saturday. Stewart Elliot has been tabbed to ride from gate 6.
Denman's Call 15-1 - has three career starts for trainer Doug O'Neill with a win, a second and a third place finish - all on this track. Last time out was a runner-up finish behind Iron Rob in the minor San Pedro Stakes March 20 after an OK third in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes February 15 and a maiden score at first asking in January. Denman's Call has been in the mix every time out and hopes to be again Saturday from the rail. Rafael Bejarano gets the call.
Dressed in Hermes 15-1 - has three wins and a third place finish in seven career starts for trainer Janet Armstrong and enters off a good win in the minor Pasadena Stakes on this track March 13. Before that was a fourth in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes here February 6 and a career best effort - a win in the Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes at Del Mar November 29. He's also posted a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf October 30 and a win in the minor $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes here October 10. Dressed in Hermes has won two of his last three starts overall (both turf stakes) and enters with a ton of confidence. Flavien Prat has the pleasure of trying to keep a pretty good streak going from post 7 Saturday.
Smokey Image 15-1 - impressive Carla Gaines trained colt has seven career starts with six wins - at five different tracks! He made his graded stakes debut last time out and stumbled to a fifth place finish in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes however against many of his Santa Anita Derby foes. Before that effort were wins in the minor California Cup Derby by an impressive 8 1/2 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion here January 30, the minor Golden Gate Juvenile at Del Mar in October, the minor I'm Smokin Stakes at Del Mar in September, the minor Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes at Santa Rosa in August and the minor Everett Nevin Stakes at Oak Tree at Pleasanton in July to go along with a maiden score at first asking. He looks for a bounce back effort and to prove that his graded stakes debut was the exception, not the rule. Victor Espinoza rides from post 5.
Uncle Lino 20-1 - has a win, two seconds and a third place finish in five career starts for trainer Gary Sherlock. He made his stakes debut two starts back and finished a respectable second behind Mor Spirit in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes here February 6 and followed that with a fourth last time out in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes also on this track March 12. He recorded a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here January 3, a maiden score November 29 and a second in his debut in July. Uncle Lino been decent so far in his career and will have Fernando Hernandez Perez in the reins from the outside gate 8.
Rare Candy 30-1 - David Hoffmans trained gelding has eight career starts with one win and three second place finishes. He enters on the heels of consecutive runner-up finishes in Allowance Optional Claiming races on this track which followed a seventh in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes here in January and a fourth in the Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes at Del Mar November 29. He also had fourth place finishes in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes here September 26 and in the minor Del Mar Juvenile Turf Stakes September 5. He looks for his first stakes score and first win in six starts overall when he departs from gate 8 with Joe Talamo aboard.
Diplodocus 30-1 - Richard Baltas trained colt has one win in five career starts with four off-the-board finishes. Last time out was a fifth in his stakes debut - the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate February 13 after another fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita January 24, a maiden score on that same track January 2 and a couple of unflattering results to start his career. Diplodocus hasn't been great so far and will be after a major breakthrough Saturday. Tyler Baze rides.
Race 8 on Santa Anita's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:30 PM.
|1||Denman's Call||15-1||Rafael Bejarano||Doug O'Neill|
|2||Exaggerator||4-1||Kent Desormeaux||J. Desormeaux|
|3||Danzing Candy||9-5||Mike Smith||Clifford Sise, Jr.|
|4||Mor Spirit||8-5||Gary Stevens||Bob Baffert|
|5||Smokey Image||15-1||Victor Espinoza||Carla Gaines|
|6||Iron Rob||12-1||Stewart Elliott||George Papaprodromou|
|7||Dressed in Hermes||15-1||Flavien Prat||Janet Armstrong|
|8||Rare Candy||30-1||Joseph Talamo||David Hofmans|
|9||Diplodocus||30-1||Tyler Baze||Richard Baltas|
|10||Uncle Lino||20-1||Fernando Perez||Gary Sherlock|
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