This Week in the Horse Racing: Another Super Saturday of Derby Prep – News Exclusive VSiN – News

Last Saturday’s Florida Derby, Arkansas Derby and Jeff Ruby produced as many as seven starters for the Kentucky Derby on May 7. A similar assignment may be known at the end of Saturday’s races after the Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass and Wood Memorial.

The Santa Anita Derby in California features the brilliantly fast Forbidden Kingdom and Messier in what is forecast to be a duel of speed with potentially major consequences for the sophomore class of 2022. The Blue Grass in Kentucky features the chasers from Epicenter in Louisiana, Smile Happy and Zandon, in a regional redemption opportunity. Meanwhile, the Wood Memorial in New York pits top Big A winter stakes winners Early Voting and Morello against Florida snowbird Mo Donegal. The Santa Anita, Keeneland and Aqueduct cards are the signature local race days at all of those locations.

Santa Anita features seven stakes races, five of them classified, including the Santa Anita Oaks. The handicappers who follow the Santa Anita classic races during the winter competition have witnessed the following trends:

Betting Favorites: 49.0% wins, 86.3% top 3

Average payout of $2 winning bets: $8.24

The best betting jockeys: Flavien Prat (14-49, 29%), Victor Espinoza (5-19, 26%), Juan Hernandez (9-48, 19%), John Velazquez (7-38, 18%)

The best betting trainers: John Shirreffs (3-8, 38%), Bob Baffert (11-34, 32%), Richard Mandella (4-14, 29%), Phil D’Amato (7-33, 21%)

what to expect this week

1/ST BET tipster Eddie Olczyk, fresh off his winning White Abarrio chip in the Florida Derby, will have his video preview of the Santa Anita Derby available on Friday. Check it out at… It’s show week up north when Gulfstream Park’s winter championship horses meet up the coast to Aqueduct or take a detour to Keeneland. Some horses perk up yearly with the colder weather, so consider April’s experience after an earlier move in past performances… My picks and detailed stat analysis are offered daily on for each race of the meeting. 15 days… Trainer Bob Baffert began his 90-day suspension Monday. Look for your old horses to reappear primarily in Southern California for trainers Sean McCarthy and Tim Yakteen. It probably won’t be long before we see if the train keeps going or derails… Santa Anita’s lead jockey, Flavien Prat, changes course to Keeneland and then heads to Churchill Downs in the summer. We’ll see who fills his important void on the West Coast, probably Juan Hernandez.

Weekend Friday Firestarter

With many of the top training teams departing from Gulfstream Park this week, look out for some local stables to have horses booked and ready in the next few days. Trainer Jorge Delgado won five races at Gulfstream last April after the competition change, hitting nearly 25%. In Race 2 on Friday, he has No. 3 King Cairo shrewdly positioned after being claimed on March 2 and hoping for calmer waters. Delgado wins a staggering 33% the first time after the claim, and he seems well placed to continue that streak. Win Bet No. 3 King Cairo.

1/ST BET App Best Handicap Tracks of the Week

The free 1/ST BET app allows you to apply millions of data points across dozens of handicap factors in just a few seconds and place your bets immediately. This is where AI was most marked last week by winning percentage:

— Hawthorn: 44%

— Laurel Park: 43%

— Penn National: 42%

— Mahoning Valley: 41%

— Gulfstream Park: 40%

Tracks with the most reliable favorites last week (by percentage won)

— Gulfstream Park: 58%

— Mahoning Valley: 56%

— City of Charles: 53%

– Santa Anita: 48%

— Hawthorn: 47%

Courts that were unlikely havens last week (most winners 10-1 or more)

— Park: 5

—Will Rogers Downs: 5

—Sam Houston: 4

— Tampa Bay Downs: 4

America’s Top Jockeys Last Week

— Harry Hernandez (15-21, 71%), Turf Paradise, Sunland

— William Antoneorgi (6-9, 67%), Golden Gate Fields

— Kevin Roman (11-19, 58%), Fonner Park

— Jareth Loveberry (7-12, 58%), Hawthorne

— Kendrick Carmouche (8-18, 44%), Aqueduct, Parx

America’s Top Coaches Last Week

— Bart Hone (4-6, 67%), Sunland, Turf Paradise

— Cipriano Contreras (4-6, 67%), Oaklawn, Turfway, Hawthorne

— Isai González (10-16, 63%), Parque Fonner

— George Weaver (4-7, 57%), Gulfstream, Aqueduct

— Anthony Farrior (10-20, 50%), Charles Town, Laurel

Tournament time continues

The college courts may have quieted down, but the handicapped horse racing tournament scene will be buzzing with a series of contests on around the weekend of the Santa Anita Derby. Friday’s $80 buy-in Santa Anita Feeder tournament will lead to Saturday’s $1,500 buy-in Santa Anita Derby Challenge. Players are also welcome to the $500 Santa Anita Challenge on Sunday. For details and registration go to

Stats courtesy of