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
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
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.
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.
Interlude (30-1) Baffert takes a shot.
7. Quail Hill (30-1) Massive
long shot again still looking for first win on dirt.
Pegasus (7-5) Anything near last makes him all the rage heading to Kentucky.
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!