In a wake me up when it’s over moment, Toby’s Corner ( seen here closest to the fence) did the unthinkable at Aqueduct today in the Million Dollar , GI “Wood Memorial” and soundly beat, by a full length, the much-vaunted 1/9 favorite in “Uncle Mo”, who finished a very unimpressive 3rd with the 2nd spot going to Arthur’s Tale just a neck behind Toby’s Corner.
Now that you know the facts of this race here are a few take-aways to ponder!
Toby’s Corner is on his way to Churchill Downs on May 7th and his connections must be overjoyed at the prospect too. Congrats on this startling turn of good fortune. Your horse ran one heck of a race!
Arthur’s Tale probably won’t make the Derby field but a Preakness run should certainly be on the table now!
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UPDATE: with Jaycito out of this race (SEE Story Above) handicap this race for 9 and just eliminate him from your exotics! Stay tuned for who else falls out of this field!
The $1 million GI Santa Anita Derby is this Saturdayand it may be the best race this year west of the Rockies!
Some of California’s best 3yo’s are coming out to run this 1 1/8 mile Kentucky Derby prep over this still very fast Santa Anita Park’s main track!
Looks like there will be 10 runners out on Saturday here, all looking for a shot at this GI title, the lions share of a million dollar purse and more important, enough graded stakes earnings for a gate at the big dance on May 7th!
The early scratch of the orignal m/l 8/5 favorite Premier Pegasus with a cannon-bone hairline fracture throws a whole new look onto handicapping this contest!
So lets see whose still coming out to play here on Saturday!
At 2/1 is the new M/L favorite on Saturday in Jaycito. This son of Victory Gallop was one of the hot 2yo’s last fall, winning the GI Norfolk Stakes but had a bad outing in the B/C juvy race finishing a distance 7th that day. He rebounded somewhat in his 2011 debut in the GII San Felipe where he did finish 2nd to the now sidelined Premier Pegasus but was well back that day too! So someone has to be the favorite and Jaycito fits the bill as well as anyone else here, so why not! We think tri’s and supers are best for him as we don’t expect a victory for him here as the 1 1/8 will prove too much for him!
At 7/2 is Silver Medallion is a son of Badge of Silver. This one is coming off a GIII El Camino Derby win up at Golden Gate Park last month in a good time of 1:50.45 for the 1 1/8 mile. He too, is battle tested but lacks dirt experience. He’s been a poly/turf runner in all his outings so the dirt surface will be new for him. So he can go the distance here on Saturday and if Shackleford can almost win the Florida Derby having never run a 1 1/8 race under 1:50 than Silver Medallion surely has a shot here! Exotics all around for this one too!
At 4/1 is Anthony’s Cross whose another Indian Charlie son and a Unbridled mare too showed both speed and power in winning the GII Robert B Lewis Stakes here in Feb. He got into a heated stretch duel with Riveting Reason that day winning by a head in a very good time of 1:48.63 for that 1 1/8 mile distance. So he’d be first in to our exotics thinking as he already has a win over this strip, at 1 1/8 mile distance and a winning time in that race that’s the best winning time of any 3yo in training for 1 1/8 mile right now.
At 5/1 is Comma on the Top who earlier this week was said to be off the Derby Trail and was not in the KDFW pool#3. So what happened, search us! He was another hot name out here, last fall, winning the GI Cash Futurity but he has just a pair of 4th place finishes in his last 2 outings in the El Camino and San Felipe Stakes. So if his connections don’t change their minds again, this one is battled tested and if he can rate well on Saturday a board hit wouldn’t surprise here. Tri’s and Supers for this one, if he runs!
At 8/1 is a John Shirreffs/Mike Smith connection in Mr. Commons. He is out of the Moccasin and El Prado lines. He’s but 3 outings on his brief resume but has stair-stepping wins to be here on Saturday. Mr Shirreffs wouldn’t bring this 3yo here if he thought he didn’t have the stuff. Looking for a wild card to spice up your plays, 8/1 is spicy!
At 10/1 are Indian Winter and Bench Points !
Bench Points is out of the Alyder, Danzig and Deputy Minister lines and had won all of his races until he had to go 2-turns in the San Felipe last month, setting for a 3rd there. This one’s kind of loose cannon here, he’ll either improve or become a sprinter. So until he shows us something more, supers for him!
Indian Winter is, you guess it, a son of Indian Charlie and a Dixieland Band mare has 2 wins a 2nd and a 3rd in all 4 of his outings. He finished 2nd in the 1 1/16 mile Turf Paradise Derby last month. Turf Paradise is in New Mexico folks! Might be an early speed here but you never know. So super him up somewhere.
At 20/1 and 30/1’s out here on the far reaches of sane wagering are Midnight Interlude, the Baffert rabbit for Jaycito and 2 ponies getting the Rodney Dangerfield experience here are Offlee Wild Boys and Quail Hill!
Quail Hill is a son of Candy Ride with graded stake experience over this strip this winter in the GII Robert B Lewis where he finished 3rd and in the shorter San Felipe finishing 5th in that speed-crazed contest. Wouldn’t rule him out of a super but we don’t think he is a contender here on Saturday!
Offlee Wild Boys has but a single Claiming win in 7 starts in 1-turn outings all, yes, you should avoid this one!
So where are we on this Derby prep contest, well Jaycito, Anthony’s Cross and Silver Medallion all make sense in your exacts and trifectas for starters and if you think Comma on the Top will make it to a starting gate, he deserves a thought. Mr. Commons, Indian Winter and Bench Points could easily find their ways into your supers and mixed in any tri’s you are looking to spice up!
So this is the Santa Anita spring “Swan Song” for 2011 and the winner here should be taken more seriously than in years passed as this new Santa Anita dirt surface should level the playing field a bit for West Coast shippers to Churchill Downs this year. Any horse winning this year’s Santa Anita Derby in under 1:48 flat, should be taken seriously on Derby Day too!
Check out some more picks from the boys at Bloodhorse by clicking here!