Ten Kentucky Derby winners have won the Santa Anita Derby on the way to the blanket of roses. That includes a pair of Triple Crown winners: Affirmed in 1978 and Justify in 2018. In fact, three of the last ten winners of this horse race have gone on to win the Derby: in addition to Justify, local hero California Chrome (2014) and I’ll Have Another (2012) won both.
Read on to find out who has the best chance of adding his name to this illustrious roll, as well as the best places to bet the Santa Anita Derby online in California!
Santa Anita Derby Betting Online
With such classy three-year-old prospects, the Santa Anita Derby is often a great betting race. Playing it will be even more fun if you do it at an online sportsbook that offers the best odds and bonuses. Our experts know the options for California horseplayers, and we can help you find a site that fits your wagering style best.
Every site we recommend has trusted deposit and cash-out features, a smooth user interface, and the best odds on the market. They also offer incentives like sign-up and deposit bonuses, rebates, and referral benefits. Choosing the best racebook bonuses for your betting style means you can earn even more money for playing the races!
Santa Anita Derby Field
This is the official field for the 2022 Santa Anita Derby including draw numbers, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:
Happy Jack (Doug O’Neill/Abel Cedillo) – 20/1
Armagnac (Tim Yakteen/Drayden Van Dyke) – 20/1
Forbidden Kingdom (Richard Mandella/Juan Hernandez) – 6/5
Messier (Tim Yakteen/John Velazquez) – 1/1
Win the Day (Doug O’Neill/Umberto Rispoli) – 20/1
Taiba (Tim Yakteen/Mike Smith) – 4/1
With the field drawn, it is time to start watching the odds at our recommended online racebooks. Once you see a good price on a horse you like — something longer than the horse’s actual odds to win — go ahead and place your bet! Wagering at an online sportsbook locks in the best price through fixed-odds wagering. Then, watch the race knowing you have the best odds on your horse!
Santa Anita Derby Handicapping
With your account set up at the best California sportsbook for your betting needs, it is time to start handicapping the race!
The Santa Anita Derby drew a stratified field of six. Three horses at the top of the market stand to take most of the money: proven stakes stars Forbidden Kingdom and Messier along with new face Taiba. Three others will be deserving longshots: Happy Jack, Armagnac, and Win the Day.
Santa Anita Derby Favorites
Forbidden Kingdom is the best bet in the Santa Anita Derby. He stretched out to two turns for the first time in the San Vicente (G2) last out and handled it beautifully, making the lead and cruising home. He was able to clear Armagnac (who might be Messier’s rabbit) that day and should be able to do so again. Expect him to go gate to wire again.
Even with a frontrunning stablemate entered, Messier may struggle to get the trip in the Santa Anita Derby. Instead, the other horse to use in exactas is Taiba. Though that one cedes experience, with only a debut maiden win under his belt, he showed sprint speed and was able to work early and keep going. He will have to move forward to go with Forbidden Kingdom early, but has route breeding and may be good enough to run on for a piece of the action.
Santa Anita Derby Price Horses
All three longshots will have to move significantly forward to make an impact in the Santa Anita Derby. However, the one with the most upside is Win the Day.
He is trained by Doug O’Neill, a trainer who has a lot of experience in big races. More interestingly, Win the Day moved significantly forward when moving from turf to dirt for the first time in his last start, when he broke his maiden March 6. He will have to take another step forward, but compared to the other longshots he is less exposed and has the most chance to improve.
Armagnac is likely entered as a rabbit for Messier, though he already showed last time that he is not fast enough to go with Forbidden Kingdom early. Happy Jack, drawn on the rail, has been well beaten in both of his starts at two turns. Though he puts blinkers back on, he did not show much early speed with him and it is difficult to see him involved.
2022 Santa Anita Derby Free Picks
You’ve set up your online wagering account, and you’ve gotten to know the horses. Here comes the most fun part: placing your bets! Here are the best bets for Saturday’s 2022 Santa Anita Derby:
$20 to win – #3 Forbidden Kingdom
$1 exacta – #3 Forbidden Kingdom over #6 Taiba
$0.50 trifecta – #3 Forbidden Kingdom over #6 Taiba over #4 Messier and #5 Win the Day
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