Santa Anita Derby Cheat Sheet (Tambien en Español)

Racing

The Santa Anita Derby is led by Danzing Candy, who became a leading Kentucky Derby contender with his win in the San Felipe. (Photos by Eclipse Sportswire unless otherwise noted)

The $1-million Santa Anita Derby has long been one of the most important steppingstones on the path to the Kentucky Derby and served as Southern California’s signature race on the Triple Crown trail.

Five of the 13 Kentucky Derby winners from 1986 to 1998 made their final start before the Triple Crown in the Santa Anita Derby — Ferdinand (1986), Winning Colors (1988), Sunday Silence (1989), Silver Charm (1997) and Real Quiet (1998). Recent history also shows this to be a key prep race as two of the last four Kentucky Derby winners also won the Santa Anita Derby and last year’s winner Dortmund finished third on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs.

Speed has been a valuable asset in recent editions of this race. Three-year-olds who set the pace of pressed the pace won the last three editions and 2012 winner I’ll Have Another settled just a few lengths off the pace.

Let’s explore this year’s Santa Anita Derby contenders:

1. Denman’s Call (15-1)

Jockey: Rafael Bejarano 

Trainer: Doug O'Neill

Owner: Gilman Racing, Westside Rentals.com and W. C. Racing Inc.

Career record: 3 starts - 1 win - 1 second - 1 third

Career earnings: $73,200

Earnings per start: $24,400

Pedigree: Northern Afleet - Maggie McGowan, by Salt Lake

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker/Press

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Talent is not the question with Denman’s Call, who won his debut before finishing third in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes and second in the San Pedro Stakes. Stamina is the concern for the chestnut gelding, who has never run in a race longer than seven-eighths of a mile. Denman’s Call is named after famous Southern California race caller Trevor Denman. His dam (mother), Maggie McGowan, is a half-sister (same dam, different sire) to multiple Grade 1 winner Evening Jewel.

2. Exaggerator (4-1)

Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Owner: Big Chief Racing, Head of Plains Partners, Rocker O Ranch, et al.

Career record: 8 starts - 3 wins - 2 seconds - 1 third

Career earnings: $1,071,120

Earnings per start: $133,890

Pedigree: Curlin - Dawn Raid, by Vindication

Color: Dark Bay or Brown

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Exaggerator has faced elite competition since early in his 2-year-old season, winning the Grade 2 Saratoga Special Stakes in his third start before a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity and a fourth-place finish in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Winless in three races at Santa Anita Park, Exaggerator enters off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes. Consistency is perhaps his best attribute as Exaggerator has run a 103, 104 and 105 Equibase Speed Figure in his last three races, respectively. He always runs well, but will his best be good enough?

3. Danzing Candy (9/5)

Jockey: Mike Smith

Trainer: Clifford W. Sise, Jr.

Owner: Halo Farms, Bashor, Jim and Dianne Bashor

Career record: 4 starts - 3 wins - 0 seconds - 0 thirds

Career earnings: $308,650

Earnings per start: $77,163

Pedigree: Twirling Candy - Talkin and Singing, by Songandaprayer

Color: Dark Bay or Brown

Running style: Pacesetter

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Danzing Candy stamped himself one of the leading contenders for the 2016 Kentucky Derby when he defeated highly regarded Mor Spirit by two lengths in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 12 in his stakes debut. He’s improved his Equibase Speed Figure in each of his four races and is unbeaten at Santa Anita Park, host of the Santa Anita Derby. His dam (mother), Talkin and Singing, is a half-sister (same dam, different sire [father]) to 2004 John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Better Talk Now.

4. Mor Spirit (8/5)

Jockey: Gary Stevens

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Owner: Michael Lund Petersen

Career record: 6 starts - 3 wins - 3 seconds - 0 thirds

Career earnings: $458,400

Earnings per start: $76,400

Pedigree: Eskendereya - Im a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union

Color: Dark Bay or Brown

Running style: Stalker

Notable achievements and interesting facts: From the barn of Hall of Fame Bob Baffert, who won the Triple Crown in 2015 with American Pharoah, and with the services of Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, Mor Spirit remains a very serious contender for the Kentucky Derby despite losing to Danzing Candy in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in his most recent start. Sure, Danzing Candy beat him fair and square but Mor Spirit did encounter some trouble in that race, he’s never finished worse than second in six starts, he’s a Grade 1 winner and he’s run well at Churchill Downs. Mor Spirit is not only a threat to win this rematch with Danzing Candy in the Santa Anita Derby, he’s a threat to win the Kentucky Derby.

5. Smokey Image (15-1)

BENOIT Photo

Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Trainer: Carla Gaines

Owner: Irvin Racing Stable

Career record: 7 starts - 6 wins - 0 seconds - 0 thirds

Career earnings: $443,100

Earnings per start: $63,300

Pedigree: Southern Image - Special Smoke, by Free House

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Stalker/Presser

Notable achievements and interesting facts: First the good — Smokey Image opened his career with six straight wins, including five stakes wins by a combined margin of 22 lengths. Now for the bad — he finished fifth, beaten by 18 ¾ lengths in his first try in a graded stakes race. Jockey Victor Espinoza knows how to win the big one, having won the Triple Crown last year with American Pharoah and recently guided California Chrome to victory in the $10-million Dubai World Cup, but how you rate Smokey Image’s chances in the Santa Anita Derby depend on how forgiving you are. Willing to overlook one dud performance? He’s your guy. Not the forgiving type? Look elsewhere.

6. Iron Rob (12-1)

BENOIT Photo

Jockey: Stewart Elliott

Trainer: George Papaprodromou

Owner: Kretz Racing

Career record: 10 starts - 3 wins - 2 seconds - 0 thirds

Career earnings: $157,320

Earnings per start: $15,732

Pedigree: Twirling Candy - Cold Blooded, by Tiger Ridge

Color: Bay

Running style: Pacesetter/Presser

Notable achievements and interesting facts: It took Iron Ron seven start to earn his first win, but he’s coming around at the right time. He enters the Santa Anita Derby off back-to-back stakes wins, including a 1 ½-length victory over Denman’s Call in the San Pedro Stakes on March 20. His lone try stretching out to a mile did not go well – seventh, beaten by more than 10 lengths on the grass – but he has an abundance of speed and could impact the shape of the race as a challenger to Danzing Candy for the early lead. His dam (mother), Cold Blooded, is a full sister (same dam, same sire [father]) to multiple graded stakes winner Leah’s Secret, a career earner of $1,158,805.

7. Dressed in Hermes- SCRATCHED

BENOIT photo

Jockey: Flavien Prat

Trainer: Janet Armstrong

Owner: Budget Stable

Career record: 7 starts - 3 wins - 0 seconds - 1 third

Career earnings: $219,300

Earnings per start: $31,329

Pedigree: Hat Trick - Elusive Fashion, by Elusive Quality

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker/Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: Surface not class is the question with Dressed in Hermes. This talented gelding won a stakes race in his third start and then finished fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf before closing out his 2-year-old season with a graded stakes win on the grass. Tested on the Triple Crown trail in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes, which was won by Santa Anita Derby entrant Mor Spirit, Dressed in Hermes finished a well-beaten fourth. He rebounded to win another stakes on grass but returns to a dirt track for this race, a surface on which he has finished outside the top three in both of his starts.

8. Rare Candy (30-1)

Jockey: Joe Talamo

Trainer: David Hofmans

Owner: Tarabilla Farms

Career record: 7 starts - 0 wins - 1 seconds - 3 thirds

Career earnings: $110,450

Earnings per start: $13,806

Pedigree: Twirling Candy - Bold Pegasus, by Fusaichi Pegasus

Color: Dark Bay or Brown

Running style: Stalker/Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts: After four straight unplaced finishes in stakes races, including a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes, Rare Candy has shown indications of improvement in his two most recent starts, both runner-up finishes. Perhaps behavior was an issue for this one. He’s been gelded since his last race, which can lead to significant improvement. That’s good for Rare Candy, because he needs to take a huge step forward to win this race.

9. Diplodocus (30-1)

Jockey: Tyler Baze

Trainer: Richard Baltas

Owner: Bloom Racing Stable and Head of Plains Partners

Career record: 5 starts - 1 win - 0 seconds - 0 thirds

Career earnings: $39,260

Earnings per start: $7,852

Pedigree: Sky Mesa - Speciality, by Carson City

Color: Chestnut

Running style: Closer

Notable achievements and interesting facts:  The Santa Anita Derby feels like an odd spot for this colt, who finished seventh and sixth in his only two previous races on a dirt track. He has a win on the grass and closed pretty strongly to finish fifth in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby on the synthetic surface at Golden Gate Fields. If you’ve got a nice 3-year-old, you might as well take a shot and see if he’s good enough, but he’s treading in the deep end of a talented pool of runners here.

10. Uncle Lino (20-1)

Jockey: Fernando Hernandez Perez

Trainer: Gary Sherlock

Owner: Tom Mansor, Purple Shamrock Racing and Gary Sherlock

Career record: 5 starts - 1 win - 2 seconds - 1 thirds

Career earnings: $106,160

Earnings per start: $21,232

Pedigree: Uncle Mo - Haysee, by Orientate

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker/Presser

Notable achievements and interesting facts: After steadily improving in his first four races — going from an 85 Equibase Speed Figure in his debut to a 97 for his first win to a 106 for a game runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes — Uncle Lino took a step in the wrong direction when fourth, beaten by 10 lengths, in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in his most recent start. By 2015 leading freshman sire Uncle Mo out of a half-sister (same dam [mother], different sire [father]) to 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford, it’s worth giving Uncle Lino a chance to see if he can bounce back.

(Tambien en Español)

Santa Anita Derby Hoja Resumen

El Santa Anita Derby está liderado por Danzing Candy, quien se ha convertido en un candidato de nota para el Kentucky Derby con su triunfo en el  San Felipe. (Fotos de Eclipse Sportswire a menos se indique lo contrario)

El Santa Anita Derby dotado con una bolsa de $ 1 millón ha sido desde hace mucho uno de los más importantes escalones en el camino al Kentucky Derby y es la carrera de marca del sur de California para los intentos de la Triple Corona.

Cinco de los 13 ganadores del Kentucky Derby desde 1986 a 1998 hicieron su partida final antes de la triple Corona en el Santa Anita Derby — Ferdinand (1986), Winning Colors (1988), Sunday Silence (1989), Silver Charm (1997) and Real Quiet (1998). La historia reciente muestra también que es una carrera clave de preparación  ya que dos de los últimos cuatro vencedores en el Kentucky Derby también ganaron el Santa Anita Derby y Dortmund, el ganador del año pasado, llegó tercero el primer sábado de Mayo en Churchill Downs.

La velocidad ha sido un tema de valor en las recientes ediciones de esta carrera. Los tres añales que marcaron la punta o vinieron cerca de ella ganaron las tres últimas ediciones y el ganador del 2012, I’ll Have Another, se situó tan sólo a unos cuantos cuerpos de la delantera.

Exploremos a los competidores del Santa Anita Derby de este año:

1. Denman’s Call

Jinete: Rafael Bejarano 

Entrenador: Doug O'Neill

Propietario: Gilman Racing, Westside Rentals.com and W. C. Racing Inc.

Campaña: 3 salidas - 1 triunfo - 1 segundo - 1 tercero

Sumas Ganadas: $73,200

Premios por Carrera: $24,400

Pedigrí: Northern Afleet - Maggie McGowan, por Salt Lake

Color: Alazán

Estilo de Correr: A medio Grupo/Perseguidor

Logros Notables y Hechos de Interés: El talento no es un problema para Denman’s Call, quien ganó en su debut antes de llegar tercero en el Grado 2 San Vicente Stakes y segundo en el San Pedro Stakes. La preocupación es la resistencia para este castrado alazán, quien nunca ha corrido en una carrera más larga que siete octavos de milla. Denman’s Call fue llamado así en honor del afamado locutor de pista del sur de California, Trevor Denman. Su dama (madre), Maggie McGowan, es media hermana (misma dama, diferente padrillo) del múltiple ganador de Grado 1, Evening Jewel.

2. Exaggerator

Jinete: Kent Desormeaux

Entrenador: Keith Desormeaux

Propietario: Big Chief Racing, Head of Plains Partners, Rocker O Ranch, et al.

Campaña: 8 salidas - 3 triunfos - 2 segundos - 1 tercero

Sumas Ganadas: $1,071,120

Premios por Carrera: $133,890

Pedigrí: Curlin - Dawn Raid, por Vindication

Color: Bayo Oscuro o Castaño

Estilo de Correr: A Medio Grupo

Logros Notables y Hechos de Interés: Exaggerator ha enfrentado competencia de élite desde los primeros momentos de su temporada como dos añal, ganando el Grado 2 Saratoga Special Stakes en su tercera salida antes de un placé en el Grado 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity y un cuarto puesto en elSentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Sin poder ganar aun en tres actuaciones en Santa Anita Park, Exaggerator viene de ser tercero en el Grado 2 San Felipe Stakes. La consistencia es tal vez su mejor atributo, ya que Exaggerator ha corrido marcando 103, 104 y 105 Figuras Equibase de Velocidad en sus últimas tres carreras, respectivamente. Siempre corre bien, pero ¿Su mejor esfuerzo será suficientemente bueno?

3. Danzing Candy

Jinete: Mike Smith

Entrenador: Clifford W. Sise, Jr.

Propietario: Halo Farms, Bashor, Jim and Dianne Bashor

Campaña: 4 salidas - 3 triunfos - 0 segundos - 0 terceros

Sumas Ganadas: $308,650

Premios por Carrera: $77,163

Pedigrí: Twirling Candy - Talkin and Singing, por Songandaprayer

Color: Bayo Oscuro o Castaño

Estilo de Correr: Puntero

Logros Notables y Hechos de Interés: Danzing Candy probó por sí mismo ser uno de los principales aspirantes al 2016 Kentucky Derby cuando derrotó al altamente considerado Mor Spirit por dos cuerpos en el Grado 2 San Felipe Stakes del 12 de Marzo en su debut en serie clásica. Ha mejorado su Figura Equibase de Velocidad en cada una de sus cuatro actuaciones y está invicto a la fecha en Santa Anita Park, la casa del Santa Anita Derby. Su dama (madre), Talkin and Singing, es media hermana (misma dama, diferente padrillo [padre]) del ganador del 2004 John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf, Better Talk Now.

4. Mor Spirit

Jinete: Gary Stevens

Entrenador: Bob Baffert

Propietario: 

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