Tipsheet: Santa Anita Derby 2021

April 1st, 2021

A cast of 10 sophomores will travel 1 1/8 miles on the Santa Anita main surface on Saturday in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1). The vital 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series contest will reward the top-four finishers with qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 structure.

Santa Anita Derby Picks

  • #1 Roman Centurian
  • #7 Medina Spirit
  • #9 The Great One
  • #2 Dream Shake

Santa Anita Derby Wagers

  • $10 win and place: 1
  • $6 exacta box: 1-7
  • $.50-cent trifecta: 1 with 2,7,9 with all

Santa Anita Derby Contenders

#1 ROMAN CENTURIAN is the upset pick from the rail for Simon Callaghan. Empire Maker colt finished a fine runner-up in the Robert B. Lewis S. (G3) on the surface two back, and while he was outrun most recently, the Kentucky-bred will bounce back in a big way on Saturday. Juan Hernandez will be in the silks and rallying the sophomore from off the pace.

#2 DREAM SHAKE has flashed considerable potential from a pair of lifetime tries to date. Eurton pupil was third in the San Felipe S. (G2) in his latest encounter, and he has posted a pair of swift five-furlong morning drills in the interim. Twirling Candy colt has a chance with improvement in a mostly wide-open tilt.

#3 ROCK YOUR WORLD shows a pair of fine tallies on the green in preparation of his dirt debut for Sadler. The son of Candy Ride is bred to like the main strip, and the $650,000 wildcard is not without a chance at a fair price with Rispoli riding.

#4 PARNELLI has been dusted in a pair of graded outings this campaign and will add blinkers for the initial time for Shirreffs. Quality Road colt will need vast improvement to make the frame in a field with numerous contenders.

#5 BACK RING LUCK has won or placed in four straight since adding blinkers. The former claimer was game in an allowance score at Oaklawn Park last time out, but he will need to vault forward to upset this cast in his initial assignment for Sadler.

#6 OTTOTHELEGEND stormed home a convincing maiden victor in his seasonal debut at Oaklawn for Asmussen. Well-bred Uncle Mo colt makes a big jump up to the Grade 1 level on Saturday, but the bay could grab a share late if he receives a well-timed ride from Gutierrez.

 #7 MEDINA SPIRIT hails from a barn that has sent out nine winners of this race and aims for a 10th. The Florida-bred colt has been consistently very good from four career starts and is entering the Derby in fine fashion for Baffert. Protonico colt will be prompting the pace from the break with John Velazquez returning to the saddle.

 #8 LAW PROFESSOR made a giant leap forward in his second lifetime performance when dominating maiden foes with the addition of blinkers for McCarthy. Constitution colt will need to be even better to make noise on Saturday, but he gives the impression of a nice prospect, nonetheless. Kent Desormeaux has the call.

 #9 THE GREAT ONE showed little when outrun in the recent San Felipe last time out, but the son of Nyquist delivered a pair of huge efforts prior to his latest. O’Neill trainee broke his maiden by 14 lengths on the course two back and would be an obvious contender with something resembling that showing. Regular pilot Cedillo stays in the silks.

 #10 DEFUNDED gives Baffert a pair of contenders in the field. The gelded son of Dialed In was an impressive graduate in a six-furlong dash off the bench on the course, and while this is a massive class rise combined with a move to route racing, it’s difficult to ignore any sophomore from this shedrow. The chestnut is training swiftly and will have Mike Smith in the stirrups.