SANTA ANITA POWER IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY

Of the 19 colts who won the Kentucky Derby in the 21st century, eight of them were conditioned by trainers based at Santa Anita Park. Included in this group are the 12th and 13th winners of the American Triple Crown, American Pharoah and Justify. That 42% of this century’s Kentucky Derby winners and two Triple Crown champions were domiciled at a single racetrack is remarkable.

Kentucky Derby winners from Santa Anita were: Justify (2018), Nyquist (2016), American Pharoah (2015), California Chrome (2014), I’ll Have Another (2012), Giocamo (2005), War Emblem (2002), and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000). While most of these colts were Kentucky bred, all except War Emblem were developed primarily in Los Angeles. Three of these colts won the Santa Anita Derby.

The California juggernaut looks strong once again for the 2019 Kentucky Derby. In last Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby, the Bob Baffert-trained pair of Roadster and Game Winner finished first and second. Meanwhile, Richard Mandella’s Omaha Beach and Baffert’s Improbable are the top contenders in this coming Saturday’s Arkansas Derby.

Thus the California contingent that ships to Churchill Downs for the 2019 Kentucky Derby should be very formidable with, barring injury or illness, the entries of Roadster, Omaha Beach, Game Winner, and Improbable. Roadster is likely to be the favorite to win another Run For the Roses for a Santa Anita trainer.

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