Santa Anita Derby

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Santa Anita Derby Race Facts

  • Location: Santa Anita Park, California
  • Inaugural Race: 1935
  • Current Distance: 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs)
  • Track Type: Left-Handed Dirt
  • Age Qualifications: Three-year-olds
  • Status: Grade 1
  • 2021 Purse: $750,000
  • 2021 Race Date: Saturday, April 3rd

The Santa Anita Derby is a critical Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series contest. The race rewards the top-four finishers with qualifying points on a 100-40-20-10 structure.

2021 Santa Anita Derby Results

POSTHORSEJOCKEY / TRAINERWIN / PLACE / SHOW
3Rock Your WorldUmberto Rispoli / John W. Sadler$12.40 / $4.60 / $3.40
7Medina SpiritJohn R. Velazquez / Bob Baffert$2.80 / $2.20
2Dream ShakeFlavien Prat / Peter Eurton$2.80
10DefundedMike E. Smith / Bob Baffert
8Law ProfessorKent J. Desormeaux / Michael W. McCarthy
4ParnelliEdwin A. Maldonado / John A. Shirreffs
9The Great OneAbel Cedillo / Doug F. O'Neill
5Back Ring LuckTyler Baze / John W. Sadler
6OttothelegendMario Gutierrez / Steven M. Asmussen

Exotic Payoffs:

  • $2.00 Exacta (3-7) Paid: $19.40
  • $0.50 Trifecta (3-7-2) Paid: $30.25
  • $0.10 Superfecta (3-7-2-10) Paid: $17.35

Watch the 2021 Santa Anita Derby

History of the Santa Anita Derby

The grade I Santa Anita Derby is held annually every April at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. It’s for three-year-olds and has been running almost every year since 1935. World War III brought a brief pause as the Santa Anita Derby did not run from 1942 to 1944. The Kentucky Derby prep is run on a dirt surface as horses follow left-handed around the track. The SA Derby has run at 1 1/8 miles (nine furlongs) every year except the first three years when the distance was 1 1/16 miles, and 1 ¼ miles in 1947. It was designated as a grade one race in 1973.

There have been numerous surfaces the Santa Anita Derby has been contested on. Until 2008, the racing surface consisted of natural dirt and then switched to a synthetic Cushion Track in 2008, Pro-Ride artificial surface in 2009 and 2010, before finally returning to a dirt surface in 2011.

Every year since 2013, the Santa Anita Derby is considered a major prep race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, and is typically the second-to-last most important race on the prep circuit. The Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park precedes the California stakes.

In the history of the Santa Anita Derby, 10 horses have won both the Santa Anita Derby and the Kentucky Derby in the same year. In the last 10 years, only two horses have accomplished the feat in the same year: I’ll Have Another (2012) and California Chrome (2014).

To date, the only filly to win both the Santa Anita Derby and Kentucky Derby is Hall of Famer Winning Colors, who accomplished the rare feat in 1988. Only one Triple Crown winner has won all three American Classic races and the Santa Anita Derby in the same year: Affirmed (1978).

The 1 1/8-mile contest carries a $1 million purse and is one of the final 100-40-20-10 points races in the “Championship” portion of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series.

Santa Anita Derby Records

The record for fastest time at the Santa Anita Derby since it was run at a distance of 1 1/8 miles is 1:47.00 flat. The record is jointly held by three horses: Lucky Debonair who first accomplished the feat in 1965, and Sham (1973) and Indian Charlie (1998). The fastest winning time in the last 10 years was 1:47.52, courtesy of California Chrome in 2014.

The record for most Arkansas Derby wins by a jockey is held by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, who won the event an astonishing nine times. Stevens won the Santa Anita Derby three straight years, from 1993 to 1995. The legendary Bob Baffert holds the record for most Santa Anita Derby wins by a trainer with seven.

Rex C. Ellsworth with three titles holds the record for most Santa Anita Derby wins by an owner.

Notable Santa Anita Derby Winners

Many noteworthy and recognizable names have won the Santa Anita Derby during their career. A few of the highlights:

  • A.P Indy – 2000 United States Racing Hall of Fame inductee
  • Affirmed – 1978 Triple Crown winner
  • California Chrome – Two-time Horse of the Year winner
  • I’ll Have Another – Two-time Triple Crown race winner (2012 Kentucky Derby, 2012 Preakness Stakes)
  • Winning Colors — 2000 United States Racing Hall of Fame inductee

Past Winners of the Santa Anita Derby

YearWinnerJockey / TrainerDistance / Time
2021Rock Your WorldRock Your World1 & 1/8 / 01:49.1
2020Honor A. P.Mike E. Smith / John Shirreffs1 & 1/8 / 01:49.0
2019RoadsterMike E. Smith / Bob Baffert1 & 1/8 / 01:51.3
2018JustifyMike E. Smith / Bob Baffert1 & 1/8 / 01:49.7
2017GormleyVictor Espinoza / John Shirreffs1 & 1/8 / 01:51.2
2016ExaggeratorKent J. Desormeaux / J. Keith Desormeaux1 & 1/8 / 01:49.7
2015DortmundMartin Garcia / Bob Baffert1 & 1/8 / 01:48.7
2014California ChromeVictor Espinoza / Art Sherman1 & 1/8 / 01:47.5
2013GoldencentsKevin Krigger / Doug O'Neill1 & 1/8 / 01:48.8
2012I'll Have AnotherMario Gutierrez / Doug O'Neill1 & 1/8 / 01:47.9
2011Midnight InterludeVictor Espinoza / Bob Baffert1 & 1/8 / 01:48.6
2010Sidney's CandyJoe Talamo / John W. Sadler1 & 1/8 / 01:48.0
2009Pioneerof the NileGarrett Gomez / Bob Baffert1 & 1/8 / 01:49.2
2008Colonel JohnCorey Nakatani / Eoin G. Harty1 & 1/8 / 01:48.2
2007TiagoMike E. Smith / John Shirreffs1 & 1/8 / 01:49.5
2006Brother DerekAlex Solis / Dan Hendricks1 & 1/8 / 01:48.0
2005Buzzards BayMark Guidry / Jeff Mullins1 & 1/8 / 01:49.2
2004CastledaleJose Valdivia Jr. / Jeff Mullins1 & 1/8 / 01:49.2
2003Buddy GilGary Stevens / Jeff Mullins1 & 1/8 / 01:49.4
2002Came HomeChris McCarron / Paco J. Gonzalez1 & 1/8 / 01:50.0
2001Point GivenGary Stevens / Bob Baffert1 & 1/8 / 01:47.8
2000The DeputyChris McCarron / Jenine Sahadi1 & 1/8 / 01:49.1
1999General ChallengeGary Stevens / Bob Baffert1 & 1/8 / 01:48.9
1998Indian CharlieGary Stevens / Bob Baffert1 & 1/8 / 01:47.0
1997Free HouseKent Desormeaux / J. Paco Gonzalez1 & 1/8 / 01:47.6
1996CavonnierChris McCarron / Bob Baffert1 & 1/8 / 01:48.9
1995Larry the LegendGary Stevens / Craig A. Lewis1 & 1/8 / 01:48.0
1994BroccoGary Stevens / Randy Winick1 & 1/8 / 01:48.3
1993Personal HopeGary Stevens / Mark A. Hennig1 & 1/8 / 01:49.0
1992A.P. IndyEd Delahoussaye / Neil Drysdale1 & 1/8 / 01:49.3
1991DinardChris McCarron / Richard J. Lundy1 & 1/8 / 01:48.0
1990Mister FriskyGary Stevens / Laz Barrera1 & 1/8 / 01:49.0
1989Sunday SilencePat Valenzuela / Charlie Whittingham1 & 1/8 / 01:47.6
1988Winning Colors†Gary Stevens / D. Wayne Lukas1 & 1/8 / 01:47.8
1987Temperate SilBill Shoemaker / Charlie Whittingham1 & 1/8 / 01:49.0
1986Snow ChiefAlex Solis / Melvin F. Stute1 & 1/8 / 01:48.6
1985SkywalkerLaffit Pincay Jr. / Michael Whittingham1 & 1/8 / 01:48.4
1984Mighty AdversaryEd Delahoussaye / Tommy Doyle1 & 1/8 / 01:49.0
1983MarfaJorge Velásquez / D. Wayne Lukas1 & 1/8 / 01:49.4
1982MutteringLaffit Pincay Jr. / D. Wayne Lukas1 & 1/8 / 01:47.6
1981Splendid SpruceDarrel McHargue / Chay R. Knight1 & 1/8 / 01:49.0
1980CodexPat Valenzuela / D. Wayne Lukas1 & 1/8 / 01:47.6
1979Flying PasterDonald Pierce / Gordon C. Campbell1 & 1/8 / 01:48.0
1978AffirmedLaffit Pincay Jr. / Laz Barrera1 & 1/8 / 01:48.0
1977HabitonyBill Shoemaker / Tommy Doyle1 & 1/8 / 01:48.2
1976An ActLaffit Pincay Jr. / Ron McAnally1 & 1/8 / 01:48.0
1975AvatarJorge Tejeira / Tommy Doyle1 & 1/8 / 01:47.6
1974DestroyerIsmael Valenzuela / Monti C. Sims1 & 1/8 / 01:48.8
1973ShamLaffit Pincay Jr. / Frank "Pancho" Martin1 & 1/8 / 01:47.0
1972Solar SaluteLaffit Pincay Jr. / Louis Glauburg1 & 1/8 / 01:47.6
1971Jim FrenchÁngel Cordero Jr. / John P. Campo1 & 1/8 / 01:48.2
1970TerlagoBill Shoemaker / Jerry M. Fanning1 & 1/8 / 01:48.4
1969Majestic PrinceBill Hartack / Johnny Longden1 & 1/8 / 01:49.2
1968Alley FighterLaffit Pincay Jr. / James W. Maloney1 & 1/8 / 01:49.0
1967RukenFernando Alvarez / Clyde Turk1 & 1/8 / 01:49.8
1966BoldnesianWalter Blum / James W. Maloney1 & 1/8 / 01:48.4
1965Lucky DebonairBill Shoemaker / Frank Catrone1 & 1/8 / 01:47.0
1964Hill RiseDonald Pierce / William B. Finnegan1 & 1/8 / 01:47.4
1963Candy SpotsBill Shoemaker / Mesh Tenney1 & 1/8 / 01:50.2
1962Royal AttackEdward Burns / William J. Hirsch1 & 1/8 / 01:49.6
1961Four-and-TwentyJohnny Longden / Vance Longden1 & 1/8 / 01:48.0
1960TompionBill Shoemaker / Robert L. Wheeler1 & 1/8 / 01:47.8
1959Silver Spoon†Raymond York / Robert L. Wheeler1 & 1/8 / 01:49.0
1958Silky SullivanBill Shoemaker / Reggie Cornell1 & 1/8 / 01:49.4
1957Sir WilliamHenry E. Moreno / Cecil Jolly1 & 1/8 / 01:54.2
1956TerrangBill Shoemaker / Mesh Tenney1 & 1/8 / 01:51.0
1955SwapsJohnny Longden / Mesh Tenney1 & 1/8 / 01:50.0
1954DetermineRaymond York / William Molter1 & 1/8 / 01:48.8
1953ChanleaEddie Arcaro / Horace A. Jones1 & 1/8 / 01:49.8
1952Hill GailTed Atkinson / Horace A. Jones1 & 1/8 / 01:50.0
1951Rough'n TumbleEddie Arcaro / Melvin Calvert1 & 1/8 / 01:50.4
1950Your HostJohnny Longden / Harry L. Daniels1 & 1/8 / 01:48.8
1949Old RockportGordon Glisson / Phil Reilly1 & 1/8 / 01:50.2
1948SalmagundiJohnny Longden / William M. Booth1 & 1/8 / 01:51.2
1947On TrustJohnny Longden / William Molter1 & 1/4 / 02:03.2
1946KnockdownRobert Permane / James W. Smith1 & 1/8 / 01:50.6
1945BymeabondGeorge Woolf / Wayne B. Stucki1 & 1/8 / 01:50.0
1941Porter's CapLeon Haas / Tom Smith1 & 1/8 / 01:54.4
1940SweepidaRalph Neves / L. Roy Staples1 & 1/8 / 01:51.6
1939Ciencia†Carroll Bierman / William J. Hirsch1 & 1/8 / 01:50.6
1938StagehandJack Westrope / Earl Sande1 & 1/8 / 01:50.4
1937Fairy HillMaurice Peters / Richard E. Handlen1 & 1/16 / 01:45.8
1936He DidWayne D. Wright / J. Thomas Taylor1 & 1/16 / 01:49.4
1935GillieSilvio Coucci / William Brennan1 & 1/16 / 01:44.6