SANTA ANITA DERBY TOPS BIG DAY OUT WEST
The main prep for the Kentucky Derby west of the Rockies takes place on Saturday, in the form of the G1 $1 million Santa Anita Derby. Recent G2 San Felipe Stakes romper Premier Pegasus will try to cement his name atop Derby hopefuls with a repeat performance in this one for Kwon Myung Cho. The son of Fusaichi Pegasus has excellent positional speed and a lethal turn of foot, and he could be even better at this nine-furlong trip. He’s the one to beat.
G1 Norfolk winner Jaycito was second in the San Felipe in his first try of 2011 and should be tighter for this test, and is another who should appreciate the added ground. Bob Baffert trains the son of victory Gallop. Anthony’s Cross upset the G2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes and rates a chance for Eoin Harty, as does Riveting Reason, who ran second there. Once beaten Bench Points is surely capable of improving off of his San Felipe try and could Jerry Hollendorfer’s Indian Winter, who was a troubled second in Arizona most recently. G3 El Camino Real Derby winner Silver Medallion adds to the depth of this line up.
Also on Saturday, G2 $150,000 Arcadia Stakes will match two of the top turf runners on the West Coast, in Grade 1 star The Usual Q T and G1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile runner-up Caracortado. Also possible is multiple Grade 1 winner Fluke, who bagged the Kilroe last out.
The G2 $150,000 Providencia Stakes and the G3 $100,000 Las Cinegas Stakes are the other graded features on this fine racing day.