Santa Anita Derby Picks


Approximately 50 minutes after the running of the Wood Memorial (G1), the starting gates for the Santa Anita Derby Picks (G1) will open and eight three-year-olds will be sent on their way in their quest to obtain some of the 150 total points offered in this race towards the Kentucky Derby (G1). Here’s my analysis of the field:

Santa Anita Derby Picks#1 RPRETTYBOYFLOYD is a six-race maiden who adds blinkers for this race. Hard to imagine blinkers will be the key to him beating a Grade 1 field.

#2 FRIENDSWITH K MILL is trained by Doug O’Neill who has won this last race the last two years (GOLDENCENTS and I’LL HAVE ANOTHER). Unfortunately, this runner doesn’t appear to have the same talent level.

#3 HOPPERTUNITY showed his impressive maiden win in January was no fluke when he gutted out a game victory in the Rebel Stakes (G2) on March 15 at Oaklawn Park. He already has enough points to enter the Kentucky Derby (G1) so is this just a tune up?

#4 BIG TIRE broke his maiden in his sixth career start, beating #1 RPRETTYBOYFLOYD by a nose. Would be very surprised if he wins.

#5 CALIFORNIA CHROME has won three races in a row, including a tour de force in the San Felipe (G2). The one to beat.

#6 CANDY BOY won the Robert B. Lewis (G2) in impressive fashion here in February and needs to run at least third to draw into the Kentucky Derby (G1). Main contender.

#7 SCHOOLOFHARDROCKS has only run twice. His last start was coming off a six-and-a-half month layoff and he lost by 15 lengths to #4 CALIFORNIA CHROME. Don’t see a 15 length improvement but he may be a good horse to use underneath in exotic wagers.

#8 DUBLIN UP has run four times in his career and is still a maiden. Would be a complete shock if he won.


1. #5 CALIFORNIA CHROME – Will get first jump on his competition.
2. #6 CANDY BOY – Has a lot of talent.
3. #7 SCHOOLFOHARDROCKS – Talented colt will be sharper second time off the layoff.


CALIFORNIA CHROME is the real deal. I’ll put 80% of my bankroll on him to win, then play trifectas keying him on top of CANDY BOY with SCHOOLOFHARDROCKS and Rebel (G2) winner HOPPORTUNITY in third.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)

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