2011 Santa Anita Derby - Predict the Order of Finish

With morning-line favorite Premier Pegasus scratched from the 2011 Santa Anita Derby, is it now anybody's race? Will Silver Medallion take to the dirt? Is it time for another surprise? Now is your chance to see how your picks stack up against the rest of the BloodHorse.com community.

Need more information about the Santa Anita Derby? Read the race preview, or watch That Handicapping Show.

To participate, use your cursor to drag the selections on the left (currently arranged in post position order) to the blank placeholders on the right. Once you have completed ranking all of the horses, submit your entries and compare your results to the rest of the community. A first place ranking will earn 9 points, second place receives 8 points, and so on.    

38 Comments

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CEF

I just don't care anymore. I am so tired of being disappointed by horse racing.

I firmly believed we were about to see a legitimate challenger to Uncle Mo, now this. I'm done. I'm out. I don't think I will even watch the Triple Crown races now. Last year, the brilliant Eskendreya. Now, Pegasus!

Good luck and good health to all the horses, but I'm done. I think racing might be, as well.

07 Apr 2011 7:33 PM
Lester Piggott

Offlee Wild Boys is going to surprise you all.

07 Apr 2011 7:35 PM
shoe-shiner

silver all the way

07 Apr 2011 7:43 PM
Julie L.

I am so upset about Premier Pegasus. He had been my Kentucky Derby horse since I watched him run as a two year old at Santa Anita. I believe this horse had so much potential...enough potential to even take the Crown.

07 Apr 2011 7:49 PM
SnakeEyes

Unreal!  This horse was supposed to sprout his wings and take horse racing fans to places they've never been.  And now it just comes to a crashing halt.  The Wood Memorial winner, I don't care.  The Santa Anita Derby winner, I don't care.

07 Apr 2011 8:05 PM
Ranagulzion

Anthony's Cross

Comma To The Top

Jayito

07 Apr 2011 8:34 PM
MRO

Bench Points!

07 Apr 2011 9:14 PM
GunBow

Yes, this definitely sucks about PrePeg.  A friend of mine who might be his #1 fan, got me into this horse, I became a full believer after watching him run 3rd in the San Vicente off 3 works in 3 months.  He is a royaly bred, a majestic looker, with speed, ratability, endurance, and brilliance.

One never knows what would have happened, but I believed he was the only SA Derby runner that would really match up well nationally.  

If the SA Derby produces a slow time and/or unimpressive winner, it will be easy to say that PrePeg would have crushed him.  But the truth is we'll never know for sure.  As impressive as his San Felipe was, PrePeg was a long way from true greatness.  He still needed to show that he could reproduce such an effort, or even improve on it, repeatedly.  And he would have needed to do it again after the SA Derby. But I do believe he had the ability to do so.

This just makes me appreciate a horse like Best Pal that much more.  Best Pal, who rightfully was elected into the Hall of Fame last year, was the 2nd best 2 year old of 1990 when he swept SoCal's 3 major futurities.  He came back at 3 and ran 2nd in both the SA and Kentucky Derbys, before winning the Swaps and then beating older horse in the inaugural Pacific Classic.  He finished his 3 year old season as a multi-millionaire and with a career total of 3 gr.1 wins(if include the Pacific Classic which was ungraded as a new stakes).

However, Best Pal wasn't done.  He came back at 4 and swept the San Fernando, gr.1 Strub, gr.1 Big Cap, and gr.1 Oaklawn Cap, earning Beyers of 121, 119, 123, and 121 consecutively.

Best Pal was injured in May of his 4 year old season, and although he returned, he was never the same.  Yet, he still accomplished some nice things, foremost among them winning the 93' Hollywood Gold Cup.  Best Pal would later win the San Antonio, Native Diver, and run 2nd in the 94' Pacific Classic, and the 95' Big Cap which he lost by a head giving weight.

In all, Best Pal ran 47 times and won over $5.5 million.  He won gr.1 races every year from 2-5 years of age, won a graded stakes at age 2,3, 4, 5,6, and 7 and placed in a gr.1 every year from 1990-1995.  He was one of those rare horses that was good at 2, and yet was durable enough to continue on until being retired at age 8.  

On top of these accomplishments, Best Pal was also fast, running Beyers of 110+ double-digit times, and Beyers of 120+ on 3 occasions.

To be Hall of Fame worthy, a horse must not only have talent, but remain sound and have owners/trainers willing to race it more than a handful of times.  I hope PrePeg will be ale to make it back to the races and prove himself an elite horse.

07 Apr 2011 9:16 PM
GunBow

I'm really disappointed about PrePeg too, but the show still goes on.  The SA Derby has definitely lost some shine, but there are still some solid horses in the race, and who knows, maybe one of them jumps up with a huge effort.

For those of us who have been fans for a couple of decades, news like this can longer shock us.  In fact, I was debating whether to even look at the horse news when I did early this afternoon because I was having such a positive day and was worried that there might be some negative news now that we are 2 days from the weekend.  And sure enough there was.

Undoubtedly, PrePeg will not be the last Derby aspirant to be knocked from the race.  And he likely won't be the last top prospect to defect.  Every year, a least a couple of the elite prospects are knocked out of the race, some like I Want Revenge and AP Indy, on the day of the Derby.

07 Apr 2011 9:24 PM
Johnny in Arizona

Ouch - This race now calls for a four horse exacta. If it rains, anybody can win. Chalk.

Silver Medallion, Bench Points, Anthony's Cross, Comma To The Top, or Jaycito.

07 Apr 2011 9:51 PM
Matthew W

'Comma opens up by four, wins easily....

07 Apr 2011 11:06 PM
Matthew W

Gun Bow the last Derby of Sat will be the "El Primero Del Ano"...I like Enjoy The Walk, from the rail at 400 yds not my favorite post, but this is a real nice horse, who wants the 400--will box with the heavy fave and play to win--I think I'll get the 5-1/probably a bit more--this is a nice quarter horse--I also like Comma To The Top/Jaycito box in S A Derby, and Caracortado looks tough in the Arcadia (ya think?!!)...Unzip Me makes it a two-Cal-bred stakes winning day--anybody for three? (Bench Points, maybe laying close to the front or even going to the lead?).....

07 Apr 2011 11:26 PM
GunBow

Matthew W:

I expect Comma to run well too.  I can see him skipping to a 3-4 length lead entering the stretch. Nakatani knows when to push the button, just as they leave the backstretch and start the 2nd turn.

I didn't see the trials for the La Primera Derby, so I don't have much to say on it.  

But I was at the trials for the El Primero, and the 3 winners(One Sweet Jess, Eddie Ray Vaughn, and Duke Kahanamoku) were all lights-out.  One Sweet Jess set the 400y track record and may be something very, very special.  The final was originally scheduled for Fri night, but they moved it to Sunday.

08 Apr 2011 12:22 AM
hilary11

Mr Commons will surprise!

08 Apr 2011 6:39 AM
GoldenBroom

That's the breaks I guess...who is the speed in this race now? Will it set up better or worse for Jaycito in anyone's opinion? Bet Baffert is glad he kept his boy home afterall!!! Even if you are a fan of Mo, you still want to see as many good horses make it in to prove this crop is still strong. So sorry for Mr. Cho. What a class act and a feel good story. I would not have been too sad to see him take it all the way...

Here in Ohio we are about 1 day ahead of New York's weather and it is rain, rain, rain. Hope Mo and the others travel safe this weekend too.

08 Apr 2011 8:50 AM
Pedigree Ann

Sir Gaylord is hurt, when a 'certain' Derby winner. Buckpasser gets a quarter crack and Graustark breaks down. Devil's Bag gets hurt. A. P. Indy comes up with an injury. Buddha breaks down working. It has been happening for a lot longer than you think. There is still a race to be run and horses who will run in it, even some surprises - in the Buckpasser/Graustark year, Kauai King won the first two jewels, so a Triple Crown was still possible going to the Belmont.

That has always been the way of this sport. We all have to live with it.

08 Apr 2011 9:46 AM
Pedigree Ann

P.S. Found this on the blog about Hollendorfer Hall of Fame candidacy:

The Derby? He’s been punched in the stomach twice under the Twin Spires with perhaps his two best shots. The unbeaten Event of the Year injured a knee in his final Derby work in 1998 and Turfway Spiral Stakes (gr. II) winner Globalize was kicked by a stable pony the Thursday before the 2000 Derby.

08 Apr 2011 9:51 AM
Gary Max

Guys something is up with John Sheriffs and the crew. Here it is i am certain he has grass champion on his hands, yet he elects to go on the dirt,maybe its the grade 1 status and that huge purse, so am going to trust my gut instinct and go across the board on Mr. Commons. Wish me luck!

08 Apr 2011 9:53 AM
koko

Well now all the favorite bettors will have to learn how to hani-cap a race if they are going to cash a ticket. more money for us that have the know how

08 Apr 2011 10:02 AM
pinkmartinit

From way off the pace is Mike and Mr Commons

08 Apr 2011 10:45 AM
Kurt

I guess I'm the only one who thinks that 'Anthony's Cross' is peaking at the right time and is a Derby contender.  Which means I'm really missing the boat on this one!

08 Apr 2011 10:55 AM
Red'sRoundTable

Lester Agreed on Oflee Wild Boys

08 Apr 2011 11:04 AM
saharagold

Mr. Commons is going to surprise you all!

08 Apr 2011 11:55 AM
winnow

bet the numbers is the bet proposition i can give here comma to the top was finish at GG jaycito will finish in the money but not win so s 4567 any order  

08 Apr 2011 12:33 PM
Smoking Baby

Anthony's Cross is training lights out and has been for some time now.  He was already good and he's getting better each day.  I say he wins it and finally gets at least a little respect.

08 Apr 2011 12:34 PM
El Kabong

Gary Max, Pinkmartinit

I like your choice. He's my wise guy play even if Peg is in the race, not that I wouldn't have boxed them, but he looks like he has steadily improved and could do so again off those works. If Sheriff's liked him enough to put him up against PrePeg, he must be very happy with his chances now. Going to play him with Jaycito and Anthony. I don't think Bench Points wants more distance. His legs looked like rubber in last race going 8.5

08 Apr 2011 1:27 PM
helloskinny

yes i think Anthony's Cross is primed and ready for a big effort has rosario aboard- the pick.

08 Apr 2011 1:40 PM
DRose

This is ANTHONY'S CROSS' race to lose! He will be a legitimate Derby player!

08 Apr 2011 2:18 PM
Sunday Silence

FYI---JAYCITO---LOOKS LIKE HE'S SCRATCHING. ABCESS IN HOOF... Go Comma Go!

08 Apr 2011 3:14 PM
GunBow

Well, the SA Derby has officially fallen apart.  Although I was not high on Jaycito, he was a big name that was going to take a lot of betting, and he has the breeding of a horse that might get better with distance.

Without PrePeg, Jaycito was the only legit top 10 Derby contender in the field, and now he's gone.

The good new for Jaycito, his connections, and his fans is that he only has a foot bruise, and Baffert is planning to run him in the Lexington in 2 weeks.  So, Jaycito's Derby and Triple Crown hopes are still alive, it's just that fans at Santa Anita won't get to see him run this Saturday.

I have ZERO expectations that the SA Derby will produce a top 5 Kentucky Derby contender.  I actually think the horse not under consideration for the Derby, Comma to the Top, has a good chance to win.  Would Peter Miller reconsider in the wake of a win?

Anthony's Cross and Mr. Commons do appear to be peaking for the race, but they have yet to run fast.  Maybe they can take that next step in their development, but there are no guarantees.

There is also no guarantee that Silver Medallion can transfer his turf/synth form to dirt.  He has been training well on dirt, but will he be able to run an entire race over it?  How will he like the kickback?  And, after having faced moderate paces on turf and synth, how will he respond to the quicker dirt pace?  Silver Medallion is a stalk and pounce horse on turf and synth, but stalking Comma to the Top on dirt will take much more effort, which in turn may weaken his stretch kick.  And if he does have trouble keeping up early,could he fall too far back and give himself too much to do?

With these questions on the horses that will be now be the "favorites", a longshot winner wouldn't shock me, although it's hard to see Oflee Wild Boys winning.

08 Apr 2011 8:19 PM
Gebo

Without Premier Pegasus and Jaycito, I have to say that I'm expecting a valiant bid by Comma to the Top. I don't know if Silver Medallion will meet expectations. I'm also curious to see how Bench Points fairs, and would not be surprised to see him Show or better.

09 Apr 2011 12:45 AM
street sense

as some one who picked premier peg in the san felipe. i am upset at his injury. but that is what happans in this game we love the show must go on. as for the santa anita derby. anthonys cross has two turn experience that will matter in this field. but bob baffert's  midnight interlude  had a bullet work in the last week this looks like speed on the lead all the way to the winners circle  

09 Apr 2011 11:09 AM
bob lunny

SA goes to dirt and we lose 2 Derby conteders

09 Apr 2011 1:07 PM
Mike

Watch for Quail Hill. Just a hunch but this horse could very well Shackleford this race, now that the 2 big guns are out.

09 Apr 2011 1:59 PM
Pedigree Ann

Bob Lunny, Premier Pegasus was injured after working on the training track, not the main track. Jaycito's problem is an abscess, an infection, which has little to do with track surface.

09 Apr 2011 2:50 PM
Gary Max

Guys the surface to air missles have shot all the stealths out of the air. I remember writing on Steve Haskin's blog about Todd's sitting on the fence antics on where MO runs next Florida Derby or The Wood was clearly exposed today. Nice try Todd but the Met Mile should be next on your schedule. Maybe next year forget the Triple Crown trail with MO.

09 Apr 2011 9:51 PM
GunBow

Well, Baffert wins anyways.

And with a horse that just broke his maiden a few weeks ago!  I thought Baffert entered him as a rabbit for Jaycito, but given Jaycito has been battling tender feet for a while, Baffert didn't want to be without a starter and thought he was coming up to the race well and could get the distance.

Midnight Interlude ran well, and likely would have won by a length had he not had to alter course in midstretch when Comma to the Top veered out.  Yet, it's hard to think this horse is going to be much of a factor in Kentucky.  However, given all the surprises and mediocre performances, who knows anymore?

Comma to the Top ran valiantly in 2nd.  Comma has had a demanding schedule and probably wants a little less ground, but $200k for 2nd ain't bad.  Peter Miller is going to do right by him and skip the Derby and give him a break.  Classy.

As for Baffert, he's just a master of 3 year olds in the springtime.  This was his 6th Santa Anita Derby, and he also has a number of runner-ups.  Most have gone on to run well in the Derby and/or Triple Crown.  The result is 3 Kentucky Derby wins, 5 Preakness wins, and a Belmont.

10 Apr 2011 3:54 AM
Del

It's hard to see Midnight Interlude repeating an effort like that.  Comma deserves a lot of credit for providing all the pace.  Miller must have sized up the bunch and figured they could take 'em on the front end.  I doubt he'll do that in the Derby.

 Best thing Miller has done is keep his horse healthy along the journey.  I think Comma was meant for the Derby all along.  Smart barns don't show their cards.  Miller has been very professional.  I think the El Camino Real was just a test.  It was smart to run him on synthetic before the dirt.  That's what's so great about California.  They have surface options.  Anyway, Miller has been conservative and has been afforded that luxury with Comma's early earnings.  A very professional campaign by the trainer.  

21 Apr 2011 11:46 AM

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