Santa Anita Derby 2024: Tapalo can spring the upset

Category : News - Thu 04/04/2024 - 12:08 EDT

The Southern California spur of the Kentucky Derby trail is perennially live, and the most important of the series happens Saturday, April 6: the Santa Anita Derby (G1)! The race offers a rich $750,000 purse as well as a bounty of 100-50-25-15-10 Road to the Kentucky Derby points for eligible horses. With so much at stake, it is no wonder the Santa Anita Derby is one of California’s top betting horse races of the year!

Note that only some of the eight-horse field is eligible for Kentucky Derby points: any horse not trained by Bob Baffert. Eligible horses can earn a ticket to Kentucky with a win, and may even make the field in America’s most famous race if they finish second. Baffert’s horses are eligible for purse money and may be preparing for other major races, but will forfeit points if they run well.

In historical terms, the Santa Anita Derby is one of the most important preps for the Kentucky Derby. Triple Crown winners like Justify (2018) and Affirmed (1978) have won this race, as well as stars like state-bred standout California Chrome (2014) and locally based I’ll Have Another (2012).

Tapalo To win the Santa Anita Derby

Keep on reading to find out the horses who can add their name to this list of stars, and also to find out the best places to bet the Santa Anita Derby online in California.

Santa Anita Derby Betting Online

Betting the Santa Anita Derby online is always exciting, and it will be even more profitable if you sign up for an online racebook that offers the best odds and bonuses. Our expert reviews will help you find out the best options quickly and easily. Every site we recommend has the basics, offering market-leading odds and trusted deposits and cash-outs to California players.

Our experts are also here to help you find out which sites have the best racebook bonuses for your chosen betting style. Different bonus structures help different bettors more. So, taking a few minutes to read our reviews and find out which bonus structures will make you the most money can give you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in cash or free bets, just for playing the races!

Santa Anita Derby Field

This is the official field for the 2024 Santa Anita Derby including draw numbers, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:

  1. Curlin’s Kaos (Antonio Garcia / Diego Herrera) - 20/1
  2. Tapalo (John Sadler / Umberto Rispoli) - 5/1
  3. Stronghold (Phil D’Amato / Antonio Fresu) - 5/2
  4. Imagination (Bob Baffert / Frankie Dettori) - 8/5
  5. Wynstock (Bob Baffert / Juna Hernandez) - 8/1
  6. Tessuto (George Papaprodromou / Kazushi Kimura) - 10/1
  7. Mc Vay (John Shirreffs / Hector Berrios) - 5/1
  8. E J Won the Cup (Doug O’Neill / Mike Smith) - 15/1

Keep in mind that a morning line from the track can be a good guide to which horses are likely to take money, but they are no guarantee of a price. Your best bet is to track the odds at an online racebook, since you can lock in the best price online just by placing a bet! Then, you can watch the Santa Anita Derby confident that you have the best price, even if late interest pushes down the price of your horse on track.

Mc Vay+500+500+500

Santa Anita Derby Handicapping

These are the key contenders for the 2024 Santa Anita Derby.

Santa Anita Derby Win Chances

Imagination will be the favorite in the Santa Anita Derby and this Bob Baffert trainee has a good chance to run to that money. He won the San Felipe in his last start, beating stablemate Wine Me Up. However, a better suggestion of his class came two back when he was beaten only a neck by Maymun, one of his best-regarded stablemates. He has the tactical speed to get a forward trip and be involved from start to finish.

However, from a betting perspective, the value comes with Tapalo. He is the only runner in the field who has tried 1 ⅛ miles, finishing a good second behind excellent synthetic-track runner Endlessly, who has already won back in the Jeff Ruby (G3). However, Tapalo also has dirt form: he won two back on fast Santa Anita dirt. He has good early speed and showed a tactical gear last out, and he shapes as a horse on the improve at the right time.

Tapalo To win the Santa Anita Derby

Santa Anita Derby Exotics Horses

Sunland Park Derby (G3) winner Stronghold faces a tougher field this time, but he held his own in a pair of Southern California graded-stakes races and has never run a bad race in five starts. With tactical speed he should be able to get a good place in the field, and he reliably runs fast enough to be competitive against the leaders in the field. He frequently finds one too good, but he should be able to get yet another piece of the exotics.

Wynstock is the “B”-stringer from the Bob Baffert barn. He came up empty in the Southwest (G3) over the mud at Oaklawn last out, but returning to a dry track in California should help him find his better form again. He is fast enough to find the early lead even in this speed-laden field, and if he runs back to his Los Alamitos Derby (G2) form he should be able to dig in and at least box on for a piece.

2024 Santa Anita Derby Free Picks

You’ve created your betting account and gotten to know the field for the race.  Here comes the most fun part: placing your bets! Here are the best bets for Saturday’s 2024 Santa Anita Derby:

  • $20 to win - #2 Tapalo
  • $1 exacta - #2 Tapalo and #4 Imagination over #3 Stronghold
  • $0.50 trifecta key - #2 Tapalo with #3 Stronghold, #4 Imagination, #5 Wynstock
  • $0.20 superfecta key - #2 Tapalo with #3 Stronghold, #4 Imagination, #5 Wynstock
Tapalo To win the Santa Anita Derby
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