The Santa Anita Derby is the west coast’s leading 2012 Kentucky Derby prep race

2012 Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park

The West Coast’s leading 2012 Kentucky Derby prep race, the Santa Anita Derby is this Saturday, April 7th at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Ten 3-year-olds are entered in the 1 1/8-mile race.

Creative Cause is the 6-5 favorite and drew the rail and will race without blinkers for the first time. Trainer Mike Harrington said he has been pleased with the way he has been working in the mornings without the hood. “His workout was good,” Harrington said. “He’s training nicely without them, so we’re going to run without blinkers. In his races, he gets to wandering around the stretch. He’s never been really focused down the stretch, except for the Norfolk Stakes. Even the Breeders’ Cup, he started wandering around. We wanted to find out (if no blinkers) would make a difference, and not wait until the Kentucky Derby to try it.”

Creative Cause is in an enviable position. He doesn’t need to win the Santa Anita Derby to make the starting gate May 5 at Churchill Downs. He is high on the graded stakes earnings.

Trainer Bob Baffert, recovering from a heart attack that he suffered on March 26 in Dubai, has entered three horses in the Santa Anita Derby. Liaison is the only one who could be considered among his major Kentucky Derby horse. The other two are Paynter and Blueskiesnrainbows.

Liaison has yet to find his best form in two starts this year following his neck win in the last December’s CashCall Futurity. In the Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 4, he was fading in the stretch when he clipped heels and lost rider Rafael Bajarano.

I’ll Have Another has not been out since his impressive 2 3/4-length triumph in the Lewis on February 4. Trainer Doug O’Neill has kept him sharp with workouts but he needs to run first or second to be assured of a starting spot in the Kentucky Derby.
Holy Candy is entered, but trainer John Sadler said he may scratch in favor of the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes on April 14 at Keeneland.

We wish all the connections and horses well on their way to the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Kentucky Derby Tours has watch many horses try to be in the 20 that make it to the Kentucky Derby. On May 5, we will be using our 2012 Kentucky Derby tickets to enjoy watching from our seats in the Clubhouse. Hope to see you all there!

Santa Anita Derby

PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer, ML Odds

1. Creative Cause (KY), J Rosario, M Harrington, 6/5
2. Liaison (KY), R Bejarano, B Baffert, 8/1
3. Holy Candy (KY), A Quinonez, J W Sadler, 8/1
4. I’ll Have Another (KY), M Gutierrez, D F O’Neill, 5/2
5. Longview Drive (KY), R A Baze, J Hollendorfer, 12/1
6. Paynter (KY), M Garcia, B Baffert, 12/1
7. Senor Rain (IN), E Flores, P Miller, 15/1
8. Midnight Transfer (KY), M E Smith, C Gaines, 10/1
9. Blueskiesnrainbows (VA), J Talamo, B Baffert, 20/1
10. Brother Francis (KY), G K Gomez, J M Cassidy, 20/1