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Thu 06/04/2023 - 07:23 EDT

Santa Anita Derby: Geaux Rocket Ride can step up

If you enjoy betting major horse races, then you cannot miss the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 9! The high point of the Southern California spur of the Kentucky Derby trail, top three-year-olds will go 1 ⅛ miles for a $750,000 purse and 100-40-30-20-10 Road to the Kentucky Derby points for the top five finishers!

The winner is guaranteed a place in the Kentucky Derby, the second-place finisher probably makes it to Kentucky, and even the third- through fifth-place finishers can be in a good spot if they have amassed points in other races earlier on the Kentucky Derby trail.

The Santa Anita Derby is one of the most important preps for the Run for the Roses. Ten of its winners have gone on to win in Louisville including Triple Crown winners Justify (2018) and Affirmed (1978) as well as recent superstars California Chrome (2014) and I’ll Have Another (2012).

Geaux Rocket Ride To win the Santa Anita Derby

Keep reading to find out who can add their name to this list in 2023, as well as the best places to bet the 2023 Santa Anita Derby online.

Betting the 2023 Santa Anita Derby Online

The first step toward a profitable Santa Anita Derby Day is choosing the best place to bet horse races online. Though you have a lot of options for betting horse races online, our experts will help you make a quick and informed decision for where to bet Santa Anita’s best race for 3-year-olds.

All of our recommended racebooks have the basics: a great user interface, trusted money management, and great bonuses. Our online racebook reviews also give expert insight about which sites offer the best betting bonuses for your style. By picking the site that will give you the most rewards at the stakes you like to play, you can maximize your bankroll!

The Best Online Racebooks

These are the best places to create an account and play the 2023 Santa Anita Derby:

RankBonusReviewLink to site

Santa Anita Derby Handicapping

Now that you have set up your betting account, it is time to meet the field and start handicapping the 2023 Santa Anita Derby.

Santa Anita Derby 2023 Field

This is the official field for the 2023 Santa Anita Derby including draw numbers, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:

  1. I Don’t Get It (Doug O’Neill/Mario Gutierrez) - 20/1
  2. Dazzlemesilver (Keith Desormeaux/Kent Desormeaux) - 50/1
  3. Geaux Rocket Ride (Richard Mandella/Flavien Prat) - 3/1
  4. One in Vermillion (Eric Kruljac/Hector Berrios) - 50/1
  5. Practical Move (Tim Yakteen/Ramon Vazquez) - 8/5
  6. National Treasure (Tim Yakteen/John Velazquez) - 3/1
  7. Skinner (John Shirreffs/Victor Espinoza) - 4/1
  8. Mandarin Hero (Terunobu Fujita/Kazushi Kimura) - 8/1
  9. Low Expectations (Antonio Garcia/Umberto Rispoli) - 30/1

Make sure to track the odds for the Santa Anita Derby at your chosen racebook. After all, online racebooks offer fixed-odds wagering on major races. This means you can lock in your price as soon as you see an overlay on a horse you think will win. Then, you can watch the race with complete confidence that you know what you will be paid when your horse wins, and won’t lose out if people bet your horse late and push down the price.

Practical Move+260+260+260
National Treasure+400+400+400
Geaux Rocket Ride+400+400+400
Mandarin Hero+900+900+900

Santa Anita Derby Favorites

Practical Move will go off favored in the Santa Anita Derby. A long shot when he won the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) back in December, he ran right back to that form when he returned in March for the San Felipe (G2), cementing himself as the current best in the west. With tactical speed and upside second off the lay for Tim Yakteen, expect a good effort.

However, from a betting perspective, it is even more appealing to look at Geaux Rocket Ride. He has tables to turn on Practical Move from the San Felipe, but that was only his second start ever and first at a route. Geaux Rocket Ride has even more upside to move forward for trainer Richard Mandella, and he showed last out that he can run a good race without making the lead.

Geaux Rocket Ride To win the Santa Anita Derby

Santa Anita Derby Exotics Horses

Contenders for exotic wagers begin with National Treasure, who has yet to win a points race but has hit the board in three straight since breaking his maiden on debut in September. He needs to prove he is 100% after missing the San Felipe with a sore foot, but his regular workouts that started soon after that change of plans suggest he will still be good enough to chase on for another piece of the gimmick wagers.

Two other horses to consider for those underneath shares, at bigger prices, are Mandarin Hero and Low Expectations. Mandarin Hero has been racing in Japan, and makes his first United States start in the Santa Anita Derby. It is a class rise off of the NAR circuit where he has been running, but he has 1 ⅛-mile experience and tactical speed, and it is not unprecedented for NAR horses to hold their own abroad.

Low Expectations rises in class off a second-place finish in the Sunland Park Derby (G3) last out. He put forth a good effort in that race, tracking a blazing pace and chasing on for the place. The pace will not be as fiery this time around, and he should be able to carve out a clean tracking trip from the outside gate.

2023 Santa Anita Derby Free Picks

You know where to play the race, and you know the major contenders. There is just one thing left to do, and it’s the most fun part: get your bets in!

These are the expert best bets for Friday’s 2023 Santa Anita Derby:

  • $20 to win - #3 Geaux Rocket Ride
  • $1 exacta key - #3 Geaux Rocket Ride with #5 Practical Move and#6 National Treasure
  • $0.50 trifecta key - #3 Geaux Rocket Ride with #5 Practical Move, #6 National Treasure, and #8 Mandarin Hero
  • $0.20 superfecta key - #3 Geaux Rocket Ride with #5 Practical Move, #6 National Treasure, #8 Mandarin Hero, and #9 Low Expectations

Santa Anita Derby Post Time

Post time for the 2023 Santa Anita Derby is scheduled for 2:30pm PDT, or 5:30pm Eastern, on Saturday, April 8.  It is carded as the sixth race of twelve on Santa Anita’s Saturday card, one of six stakes on the program.

Geaux Rocket Ride To win the Santa Anita Derby