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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017
HRN Original Blog:

Ten Rivals Hope to Close Gap on Premier Pegasus in Santa Anita Derby

The 74th running of the $1 million Santa Anita Derby drew a full field of 11 on Wednesday morning ahead of Saturday’s mile and an eigth run for glory over the main track at The Great Race Place. The final West Coast prep includes some of the top contenders for this year’s Kentucky Derby and others looking to vault into contention if they can surprise with a big victory.

Off his nearly eight length romp in the Grade II San Felipe a month ago, Premier Pegasus drew post No. 8 and is the 7-to-5 morning line favorite for owner/breeder/trainer Myung Kwon Cho. The three-year-old son of Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus has won four of his five career starts under regular jockey Alonso Quinonez.

Blinkers were removed for his first try around two turns in the San Felipe, which resulted in him being in the unfamiliar position of trailing the field early. With the front runners setting a torrid pace, PrePeg shot clear on the turn for home as the others tired and drew away through the stretch. He is likely to be closer to what will surely be slower fractions in the Santa Anita Derby.

(Watch my coverage of Premier Pegasus’ win in the San Felipe below)

After going off favored in the San Felipe in his first start for trainer Bob Baffert, Jaycito made up ground on the rest of the field to finish second to Premier Pegasus and should move forward off that race, but will have to overcome drawing the far outside post again under Martin Garcia.

Although Comma to the Top’s trainer Peter Miller was quoted as saying his horse is not on the Kentucky Derby trail, a win here could certainly change that. Breaking from post No. 5, the six-time winner ridden by Corey Nakatani is likely to find himself on the lead going much slower than he did in the San Felipe, where he was the only front runner to stay close, holding on to finish fourth.

Below is the complete field for Saturday's race, including post position, morning line and a brief comment.

For my analysis and selections every racing day in Southern California visit www.pick4blog.com!

PP Horse (My Morning Line Odds)  Comment

1. Offlee Wild Boys (50-1) Pair of allowance wins at Golden Gate don’t equal success here.

2. Indian Winter (20-1) Dodged San Felipe field only to bust as odds-on at Turf Paradise.


3. Mr. Commons (15-1) Lots of a.m. hype, but I’m not buying it.


4. Silver Medallion (8-1) Finally tries dirt after stakes wins over turf and synthetic.


5. Comma to the Top (8-1) Likely to get more favorable pace scenario than San Felipe.


6. Midnight Interlude (30-1) Baffert takes a shot.


7. Quail Hill (30-1) Massive long shot again still looking for first win on dirt.


8.  Premier Pegasus (7-5) Anything near last makes him all the rage heading to Kentucky.


9. Anthony’s Cross (8-1) May not be getting the respect he deserves off Bob Lewis win.


10. Bench Points (12-1) Back to Bejarano after first loss of career in San Felipe.


11. Jaycito (4-1) Stuck outside again, needs to maneuver good trip.


Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @mdoche


To view my horse racing channel on YouTube click here!


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Older Comments about Ten Rivals Hope to Close Gap on Premier Pegasus in Santa Anita Derby...

This horse should be ranked in the top 10. I am biased because I won big on this horse. But "Midnight Interlude" has his best race ahead of him. Fast!

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Meet Marc Doche


As a life long horse racing fan and handicapper, it’s an honor to be joining
Horseracingnation.com to share my knowledge and expertise on a daily basis to horse racing fans.
Since the early 1980’s when I visited Santa Anita with my grandfather as a young boy, the track has been in my blood. As soon as I turned 16, I was driving out to the track as much as possible, and with the advent of the self-service machines, was able to wager hassle free.
After graduating from UCLA in 2000, I began my career in sports media as a site manager for Athletesdirect.com and a couple of years later became the Media Relations Coordinator for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League.
In the past few years, I have moved my focus to covering the Sport of Kings and have worked in the early hours to better understand morning workouts and putting the pieces of the handicapping puzzle together.
I have also used my journalistic talents to produce video coverage of stakes races in Southern California, as well as interviews with jockeys, trainers, owners and more. I look forward to providing their in-depth insight to you.

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