The West Coast spur of the Kentucky Derby trail comes to its exciting conclusion on Saturday, April 8 with the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1)! The race covers nine furlongs on the Santa Anita dirt track. In addition to the rich purse, 100-40-30-20-10 Road to the Kentucky Derby points are available to the top five finishers! It’s an important race for everyone who bets on horse races.
The Derby points make the race one of the classiest of the year. The winner earns enough points to earn a spot in the starting gate, the second-place finisher is virtually assured a spot, and even other underneath finishers can punch their ticket to the big race if they have earned enough pints in other prep races.
The Santa Anita Derby is one of the most historically important Kentucky Derby preps. Ten winners of the race have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. These include Triple Crown winners Affirmed (1978) and Justify (2018), as well as recent stars like California Chrome (2014) and I’ll Have Another (2012).
Keep reading to find out the marquee contenders for this year’s edition of the Santa Anita Derby, as well as the best places to play the Santa Anita Derby online.
Where to Bet the Santa Anita Derby
Before you bet a single horse in the Santa Anita Derby, you need to choose the right place to bet horse races online. Though there are a lot of options out there, you’re in the right place for expert advice! Our review of top sportsbooks will help you make an educated choice quickly and easily so you can get to the fun part: betting on races and sports!
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Santa Anita Derby Horses and Odds
This is the official field for the 2023 Santa Anita Derby including draw numbers, trainers, and jockeys:
- I Don’t Get It (Doug O’Neill/Mario Gutierrez) – 20/1
- Dazzlemesilver (Keith Desormeaux/Kent Desormeaux) – 50/1
- Geaux Rocket Ride (Richard Mandella/Flavien Prat) – 3/1
- One in Vermillion (Eric Kruljac/Hector Berrios) – 50/1
- Practical Move (Tim Yakteen/Ramon Vazquez) – 8/5
- National Treasure (Tim Yakteen/John Velazquez) – 3/1
- Skinner (John Shirreffs/Victor Espinoza) – 4/1
- Mandarin Hero (Terunobu Fujita/Kazushi Kimura) – 8/1
- Low Expectations (Antonio Garcia/Umberto Rispoli) – 30/1
The track will release morning-line odds, but keep in mind that is only the racetrack’s best estimate of the price on each horse. Those odds will fluctuate until post time, since odds at the races are based on what is bet on each horse. That can mean your odds drop near post time if a lot of late bettors also like your selection.
Your best bet is to play the Santa Anita Derby at an online sportsbook! Since online betting sites offer fixed odds betting on major races, you can lock in the best price the moment you place your bet. Then, all you have to do is watch the race and be confident about the price you’ll get when your horse wins!
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Free Santa Anita Derby Picks
When choosing your bets for the 2023 Santa Anita Derby, these are the horses to key in on for your wagers. They provide the best combinations of value and win chance in the field.
Santa Anita Derby Win Candidates
Practical Move is the current West Coast leader and he will almost certainly be the favorite in this race. He is one of the two true win candidates in the Santa Anita Derby. He has been better than ever since stretching past a mile, and the underside of his pedigree gives some indication that he could get nine furlongs. He should be able to move forward second off the lay, off an already good San Felipe (G2) effort.
The other legitimate win candidate, and the one who will be more appealing from a betting perspective, is Geaux Rocket Ride. Though Practical Move beat him last out, Geaux Rocket Ride was only racing for the second time, and for the first time at a route. That experience gives him something to build on, and he showed in that race that he can run a good race from near the pace: in other words, he is not just one-way speed.
Underneath Contenders in the Santa Anita Derby
Underneath chances begin with National Treasure, who has hit the board in three straight point races. It is a concern that he missed a scheduled start in the San Felipe last month due to a sore foot, though he was not sidelined long and has been working regularly. With a reliable stalk-and-pounce style, he should be able to nab another underneath share this time.
Mandarin Hero comes from Japan. Some may be skeptical since he comes out of the second-level NAR circuit and not the more prominent JRA, but that isn’t a deal breaker: Marche Lorraine did the same thing, and all she did was win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 2021. With tactical speed and some 1 ⅛-mile experience already, he should be ready for a good race second off the layoff.
Low Expectations bucked that name in the Sunland Park Derby (G3), chasing a hot pace and staying on to finish second. He faces a deeper field this time around, but it was a good enough effort to suggest that nine furlongs is within his abilities. He can get a clean tracking trip from the outside, and would be no surprise to get another underneath share.
Santa Anita Derby Free Picks
You’ve made your wagering account and you’ve gotten to know the best betting prospects. Now it’s time for the best part: placing your wager! These are your best bets for Saturday’s 2023 Santa Anita Derby:
- $20 to win – #3 Geaux Rocket Ride
- $1 exacta key – #3 Geaux Rocket Ride with #5 Practical Move and #6 National Treasure
- $0.50 trifecta key – #3 Geaux Rocket Ride with #5 Practical Move, #6 National Treasure, and #8 Mandarin Hero
- $0.20 superfecta key – #3 Geaux Rocket Ride with #5 Practical Move, #6 National Treasure, #8 Mandarin Hero, and #9 Low Expectations