If you are looking for big stakes races then there is plenty to get to on Saturday. The final day of 100-40-20-10 prep events will draw to an end this afternoon. The $1,000,000 Toyota Blue Grass (Gr. 1) is the biggest of the three taking place.
The other two Road to the Kentucky Derby races is the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby. We’re at Keeneland for the Blue Grass and then heading over to California for the Derby at Santa Anita Park.
There is one small prep race next weekend at Keeneland, with the running of the 20-8-4-2 Lexington Stakes. If you are looking for the Toyota Blue Grass and Keeneland, check out our Keeneland page for Saturday.
Santa Anita Park has a total of 12 races worth $2,207,000 in prize money. Head below for our Santa Anita Derby pick and best Santa Anita Park picks for April 9, 2022.
Race 4 – Santa Anita Oaks
Post Time: 1:35 p.m. PST
Distance: 1 1/16 Miles
The $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (Gr. 2) covers 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. This is a big one at Santa Anita Park and features a serious contender in Adare Manor.
Adare Manor was transferred Tim Yakteen after Bob Baffert was suspended from running in the Kentucky Derby. Baffert liked Adare Manor for good reason.
She is 2nd, 4th, 1st, 1st and peaking at the right time. In her latest race, Adare Manor drew free in the $200,000 Las Virgenese Stakes (Gr. 3) on February 6.
Adare Manor kicked free in a 13 length blowout over her foes. She had a 9 length lead going into the stretch and needed no urging to finish the job.
Under the Stars might have a bold enough effort to cause some noise, but look for Adare Manor to break free in the stretch. I’m going to Adare Manor in the Oaks on Saturday afternoon.
Race 6 – RUNHAPPY Santa Anita Derby
Post Time: 2:45 p.m. PST
Distance:1 ⅛ Miles
The $750,000 Santa Anita Derby covers 1 ⅛ miles with 100 points going to the winner towards the Kentucky Derby. This race takes place earlier than most feature events.
Messier and Forbidden Kingdom could engage in a duel for the top prize. They might get into it in the stretch with an entertaining battle ensuing in the final furlong.
Forbidden Kingdom is 3 for 5 and hot going into Saturday. The No. 3 has finished 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st in five attempts.
In his most recent race, Forbidden Kingdom defeated Doppelganger by 5 ¾ lengths in the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes (Gr. 2) on March 5.
This was after a 2 ¼ length win in the $200,000 San Vicent Stakes (Gr. 2) on January 29. Forbidden Kingdom has to be involved.
Messier is a former Bob Baffert trainee and is in top form. Tim Yakteen landed a good one in Messier. The colt is 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 1st.
In his latest attempt, Messier beat Cabo Spirit by 15 lengths in a rout in the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Gr. 3) on February 6. This was a clinic with Messier in the best form of his career.
If Messier carries that form over to Saturday in the Santa Anita Derby, it’s all but over for Forbidden Kingdom and the competition.