Tipsheet: 2023 Santa Anita Derby

April 6th, 2023

A fantastic field of nine sophomores will travel 1 1/8 miles on the dirt in Saturday’s exciting $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1). The 2023 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series event will reward the top five finishers with qualifying points towards the Run for the Roses based on a 100-40-30-20-10 basis.

Santa Anita Derby Selections

  • #5 Practical Move
  • #3 Geaux Rocket Ride
  • #7 Skinner
  • #6 National Treasure

Santa Anita Derby Wagers

Santa Anita Derby Contenders

#1 I DON’T GET IT (20-1): A recent maiden winner who has improved with each career try to date and looked good graduating on the course last time out. The Cloud Computing colt defeated a decent prospect in Yellow Brick last time out, and he could challenge for a placing from the rail with a big move forward.

#2 DAZZLEMESILVER (50-1): The Tapwrit colt has been third in both lifetime runs to date and is hard to back with confidence in this fine field for Keith Desormeaux. The bargain yearling purchase does exit what might be a key race, but others have more appeal to me.

#3 GEAUX ROCKET RIDE (3-1): The potential one to catch wowed on debut and then was quite game when runner-up in the San Felipe S. (G2) in his route bow for Richard Mandella. The talented son of Candy Ride has been training in fine fashion all season, and the $350,000 yearling purchase could be the one if he clears in the early stages of the contest. Regular pilot Flavien Prat retains the mount.

#4 ONE IN VERMILLION (50-1): The three-time stakes winner was outrun in the Sunland Park Derby (G3) two weeks ago, and he would need major improvement to scare this cast inside the final furlong. Hector Berrios will be in the stirrups.

#5 PRACTICAL MOVE (8-5): Tim Yakteen's classy colt kicked off his 2023 campaign with a superb score in the San Felipe S. (G2) on the course. The son of Practical Joke was always moving like a winner most recently, and he could surely improve further while making his second off the layoff. Ramon Vazquez will be in the silks once again.

#6 NATIONAL TREASURE (3-1): The Quality Road colt comes in fresh for his first run for Yakteen and has a shot for sure. The two-time Grade-1 placed colt has never put in a bad effort from four career tries, and his morning drills indicate that he will run big on this occasion. John Velazquez retaining the ride is a major boost.

#7 SKINNER (4-1): The stout late runner from the John Shirreffs shedrow has shown a forward move from two-to-three and rates a chance from off the pace under Victor Espinoza. The $510,000 son of Curlin finished a solid third in the San Felipe S. (G2) last time and might relish the move to nine furlongs on Saturday. He will begin his best run approaching the turn for home.

#8 MANDARIN HERO (8-1): The Japanese visitor is the wildcard in the field with Kazushi Kimura taking the reins. The once-beaten son of Shanghai Bobby is bred to run long and obviously has a measure of class to him for conditioner Terunobu Fujita. The dark bay could be any kind in his U.S. debut.

#9 LOW EXPECTATIONS (30-1): This Antonio Garcia trainee has moved forward in a big way since moving to the dirt three races back. The Sunland Derby (G3) runner-up is trending in the right direction for sure, but trying to take this field down from the widest post might prove to be a bit too much at this stage of his development.