Santa Anita Derby


This 100 point Derby prep has had a huge impact on the Triple Crown trail the past 20+ years.  Horses that run well here are fast and translate that form to Kentucky easily.  Pace looks fair (not fast or slow)

1. Roman Centurion - Really disappointed in San Felipe making 4th start of form cycle.  Horse may be tailing off and needs a break.  Toss.

2. Dream Shake - Ran impressively when stepped up in class in 2nd lifetime start.  Was beaten only 2+ lengths by Medina Spirit & was 3 lengths ahead of Roman Centurion.  Figures to improve again in 3rd lifetime start.  Contender.

3. Rock Your World - This $650K colt is getting a lot of buzz in future wagers despite never racing on dirt.  Sadler is 22% dirt to turf (with positive ROI) and is strong in graded stakes.  Pedigree is fine for dirt.  Another negative is has never raced further than a mile but pedigree is fine for that as well.  Bullet work for this race.  This is a wild card horse but gets an A grade with $5 of value.  Must use.

4. Parnelli - Freshened after two poor starts & Shirreffs is positive ROI 90+ day layoffs.  Also picking up blinkers which is a good angle for Shirreffs.  With that said, I just don't like this horse with a single maiden win to his credit.  Toss.

5. Back Ring Luck - This horse was claimed for $30K at CD.  Has one allowance race this year and was victorious.  Now switches to Sadler and leaves Oaklawn for Santa Anita where Sadler has a horse running already.   This horse is eligible to improve in 2nd start of year and first start for Sadler.  Sadler must like what he sees.  Interesting long-shot.

6. Ottothelegend - This horse also ships West from Oaklawn for Asmussen off slow maiden win.  Could make similar comments here that I made for Back Ring Luck but this one appears a tad slower & drops LASIX.  Toss.

7. Medina Spirit - Deserving favorite and most likely winner.  Can be on the lead or stalking it.  The big negative is this horse has already raced 4 times without a break and we may have seen his best already.  Baffert is still firing bullets in the morning and he did beat Hot Rod Charlie (who needed the race) in Robert B Lewis.  This horse is a fighter and will never quit running.  Very likely to hit the exacta.

8. Law Professor - Poor connections (trainer/jockey).  This one has a slow maiden win that was helped by a fast pace with LASIX on.  Was destroyed by Dream Shake in his debut.  Toss.

9. The Great One - This one was a dud in San Felipe handily beaten by a couple in here with no real excuse.  Will do better today if he gets the lead early but don't think he'll hold off the good ones late.  No higher than 3rd.

10. Defunded - This is a very interesting runner for Baffert/Smith.  Comes in after breaking maiden sprinting in fast time but now must step up in class while routing for the first time and the 10 post position will cause him to lose ground early.  Fired a 6F bullet but pedigree looks soft for routing.  Use underneath.

Bottom Line - The most likely winners are 2,3,7 which are on top of the sheet and the shortest prices.  My win bet will be on Dream Shake to improve 3rd start of career and turn the tables on Medina Spirit.  Rock Your World gets a PFDS% of 0.4 which is way too low for a 4-1 horse so use this one underneath only.  The long-shot is Back Ring Luck who must be showing Sadler something in the mornings to put in here against Rock Your World.  Use this one in serials.  The other one to consider underneath is Defunded who should finish with enthusiasm.