Premier Pegasus, a 7 3/4-length winner of Santa Anita’s Grade II San
Felipe Stakes, will be a strong favorite on Jon White’s morning line for
the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9 based on the
current expected field.
“In making a preliminary line based on the eight horses considered
probable for the race at this time, I have Premier Pegasus as a 6-5
morning line favorite,” White said. “He was so dominant in the San
Felipe that I don’t think there is any question he will be a strong
Santa Anita Derby favorite, especially since the San Felipe had what was
considered to be the best field of any of the graded stakes races for
the age group in California so far this year.
“Premier Pegasus has lost only once in five career starts. And even the
one time he lost, when he ran third in the San Vicente, that doesn’t
look all that bad considering he hadn’t raced in three months. Plus, the
San Vicente looks even stronger now in that The Factor won it and then
took the Rebel at Oaklawn Park by a big margin (6 ¼ lengths).”
White said that as it stands at this time, Silver Medallion, winner of
Santa Anita’s Eddie Logan Stakes on the turf and Golden Gate’s Grade III
El Camino Real Derby, would be the second choice on the Santa Anita
Derby morning line.
“I have Silver Medallion at 9-2 on my preliminary line,” White said.
“The only reason I don’t have him lower than that is he’s never won or
even raced on the dirt. But those wins in the Eddie Logan and El Camino
Real Derby are an indication that he’s a pretty talented colt.”
Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Anthony’s Cross; Bench Points; Comma
to the Top, Corey Nakatani; Indian Winter; Mr. Commons, Mike Smith;
Offlee Wild Boys; Premier Pegasus, Alonso Quinonez; and Silver
Medallion, Garrett Gomez.
At Hollywood Park Sunday, Celestic Night worked six furlongs in 1:13.60
under Joe Talamo, after which trainer Mike Mitchell said the son of
Vindication is possible for the Santa Anita Derby, depending on how he
fares after one more workout. “We claimed him for grass races at
Hollywood, but with the Will Rogers and Cinema gone, we thought we’d
take a look at the Derby here,” Mitchell said.