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Thu 04/04/2024 - 07:54 EDT

Santa Anita Derby 2024: Tapalo can advance down the Kentucky Derby trail

One of the most important races on the spring calendar is the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on Saturday, April 8! The race features eight of the best three-year-olds in the country vying for a share of the $750,000 purse and 100-50-25-15-10 Road to the Kentucky Derby points for the top five eligible finishers!

Note that any horses trained by Bob Baffert are ineligible for points, since he cannot race in the Kentucky Derby. However, he is still eligible for purse money and his horses are likely preparing for other major goals on the calendar. However, horses in other barns can earn a ticket to the run for the roses by finishing first, or possibly even second, in this spot!

In a historical sense, the Santa Anita Derby is one of the most important preps for the Run for the Roses. Ten winners have also won the Kentucky Derby including Triple Crown winners Justify (2018) and Affirmed (1978) as well as recent superstars California Chrome (2014) and I’ll Have Another (2012).

Tapalo To win the Santa Anita Derby

Keep reading to find out who can add their name to this list in 2024, as well as the best places for betting the Santa Anita Derby online!

Betting the 2024 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 are here to help you make a quick and well-informed decision about the most profitable place to bet Santa Anita’s best race for 3-year-olds.

Every website we recommend has the basics: a smooth user interface, trusted money management options, and lucrative bonuses. Since each site offers different bonus structures, let our online racebook reviews help you understand quickly and clearly which site’s bonuses can help you supercharge your bankroll the fastest!

The Best Online Racebooks

These are the best places to create an account and play the 2024 Santa Anita Derby:

RankBonusReviewLink to site

Santa Anita Derby Handicapping

With your betting account ready, it is time to meet the field and start handicapping the 2024 Santa Anita Derby.

Santa Anita Derby 2024 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 the morning line is just the track’s best estimate of the odds. It can be a useful betting guide in terms of which horses are expected to be hot or cold on the board, but they are not a price guarantee. Your best bet is to track the odds at an online racebook, since they offer fixed-odds wagering on major races like the Santa Anita Derby.

Place your bet as soon as you see an overlay on the horse you think can win. Then, you can watch the race knowing exactly what you’ll get when your horse wins the race, instead of having to worry about late interest on your horse hurting the price.

Mc Vay+500+500+500

Santa Anita Derby Win Contenders

Tapalo has a solid win chance at a square price. He is the only horse in the field who has tried 1 ⅛ miles; he ran a solid second in the El Camino Real Derby behind impressive Jeff Ruby (G3) winner Endlessly. Though that race was on Tapeta, Tapalo is already a winner on fast Santa Anita dirt, too. With tactical speed and good three-year-old form, he may be a rising star.

Tapalo To win the Santa Anita Derby

Imagination is the other major win contender, but he will be a heavy favorite on the tote board. He beat a relatively soft field last out in the San Felipe (G2), though a better suggestion of his quality may have come two back when he finished just a neck behind Maymun, a fellow Bob Baffert trainee who would likely be the chalk in this spot had he been entered. Expect him to stalk the pace and be involved throughout.

Santa Anita Derby Exotics Horses

Stronghold steps up in class after beating a much softer field in the Sunland Park Derby (G3) last out. However, he has hit the board in both of his graded-stakes tries in Southern California. He has been laid off for about a month and a half, but has been able to run his race off of similar breaks before, and the regular works suggest he is ready to turn out his usual consistent effort. That should be good enough for another piece.

Wynstock has been a bit feast-or-famine during his career, and comes off a poor effort in the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn last out. However, his two previous efforts before that were wire-to-wire wins. He is not likely good enough to beat everyone in this field but if he showed the gameness he found in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) he should be able to at least set the early pace and box on for a piece of the gimmicks.

2024 Santa Anita Derby Free Picks

You have your betting account set up and you know the most important contenders for the race. All you need to do now is the most fun part of all: putting down your wagers on the race!

These are the expert best bets for Friday’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

Santa Anita Derby Post Time

Post time for the 2024 Santa Anita Derby is scheduled for 4:30pm PDT, or 7:30pm Eastern, on Saturday, April 6.  It is carded as the tenth race of twelve on Santa Anita’s Saturday card, one of five stakes on the program.