by Jeremy Plonk
April 6, 2022
Two of America’s fastest Kentucky Derby prospects square off Saturday in the $750,000 Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. San Vicente and San Felipe winner Forbidden Kingdom (pictured above) and Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Messier headline a field of six that was drawn today for the 1-1/8 miles test. Santa Anita oddsmaker Jon White called it a veritable draw in his public projection, Messier the even-money favorite over Forbidden Kingdom at 6-5.
Forbidden Kingdom leaves from post 3 and will have Messier just to his outside in the next stall. Tactically, Messier may be able to apply some pressure from the outside and have the more comfortable run of the pair in the clear. Fleet debut winner Taiba, like Messier a former Bob Baffert-trainee, could take on the pace-pressing role from post 6 as he stretches out off a single, 6-furlong sprint victory. That, too, could allow Messier some tactical advantage.
The field is rounded out by a third former Baffert trainee (all now trained by Tim Yakteen), Armagnac, sixth in the San Felipe to Forbidden Kingdom; San Felipe distant third-place finisher Happy Jack and his Doug O’Neill-trained stablemate Win the Day, a March 6 maiden winner at one mile.
Horseplayers who utilize the 1/ST BET and Xpressbet betting platforms for the Santa Anita Derby can take advantage of to a $10 money-back guarantee on win bets that finish second or third on the big race – as well as Saturday’s Derby preps in the Wood Memorial (Aqueduct) and Blue Grass (Keeneland).
Santa Anita’s Saturday program also includes the Grade 2 Santa Anita Oaks as well as five additional stakes events. First post is 3 ET / noon PT. The Santa Anita Derby will be televised live on NBC from 4:30-6 pm ET. Both Xpressbet and 1/ST BET will offer the fifth and final Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pools this weekend, which run Thursday through Saturday at 4:30 pm ET, closing prior to the Wood, Blue Grass and Santa Anita Derby for the first time in the wager’s history.
2022 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby // Santa Anita Park // Saturday, April 9, 2022
1 - Happy Jack // Doug O’Neill // Abel Cedillo // 20-1
2 - Armagnac // Tim Yakteen // Drayden Van Dyke // 20-1
3 - Forbidden Kingdom // Richard Mandella // Juan Hernandez // 6-5
4 – Messier // Tim Yakteen // John Velazquez // Even
5 - Win the Day //Doug O’Neill // Umberto Rispoli // 20-1
6 - Taiba // Tim Yakteen // Mike Smith // 4-1
For more coverage of the Santa Anita Derby from the 1/ST BET artificial intelligence, handicappers Jon White, Jeff Siegel, Jeremy Plonk, Eddie Olczyk and more, visit https://news.1st.com/blog/santa-anita-derby-picks.