Santa Anita Derby
|Grade I race|
|Location||Santa Anita Park|
Arcadia, California, USA
|Race type||Thoroughbred - Flat racing|
|Website||Santa Anita Park|
|Distance||1 1⁄8 miles (9 furlongs)|
|Weight||122 lbs (55.3 kg)|
The Santa Anita Derby is an American Grade 1 thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds run each April at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. It is currently run at a distance of 1 1⁄8 miles on the dirt and carries a purse of $1 million. It is one of the final prep races on the official Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Inaugurated in 1935, the Santa Anita Derby has long been considered the most important West Coast stepping-stone to the Kentucky Derby. Since 2013, it has been part of the official Road to the Kentucky Derby, offering the winner 100 points and thus assuring a position in the starting gate. Since its inception, ten Santa Anita Derby winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby (shown in bold in the Winners section below), plus seven horses who lost at Santa Anita went on to triumph in Kentucky. In 1988, Winning Colors became the first and to date only filly to win both Derbies. Santa Anita Derby winners have also been successful in other Triple Crown races, with Affirmed sweeping the series in 1978.
Now run at a distance of 1 1⁄8 miles (9 Furlongs), for the first three years it was run at 1 1⁄16 miles, and at 1 1⁄4 miles in 1947. Until 2008, the race had been run on a natural dirt surface. The race has been contested on Cushion Track (2008) and Pro-Ride (2009 & 2010) artificial surfaces. In 2011, the race returned to dirt.
Prep races leading to the Santa Anita Derby include the San Rafael Stakes, San Miguel Stakes, Sham Stakes, San Vicente Stakes, San Pedro Stakes, the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and the San Felipe Stakes, all run at Santa Anita Park. The Sham, Robert Lewis and San Felipe are also on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
As a result of World War II, there were no races held from 1942 to 1944.
- At age 17, Pat Valenzuela became the youngest jockey to win the Santa Anita Derby when he rode Codex to victory in the 1980 race.
- In 2000, Jenine Sahadi became the first woman trainer to win the Santa Anita Derby.
- In 2005, Jeff Mullins became the first trainer to win three consecutive editions of the Santa Anita Derby.
Three horses share the record for the fastest winning time of 1:47 flat:
Most wins by an owner:
- 3 - Rex C. Ellsworth
Most wins by a jockey:
- 9 - Gary Stevens
Most wins by a Trainer:
- 9 - Bob Baffert (1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2018, 2019)
Winners of the Santa Anita Derby since 1935
† Indicates filly
Bold typeface indicates Kentucky Derby winner
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Santa Anita Park.|
- "Santa Anita Derby Profile". www.equibase.com. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
- "Santa Anita Derby purse boosted to $1 million", Daily Racing Form, November 16, 2010.
- "Sam F. Davis Joins 'Road to Kentucky Derby'". bloodhorse.com. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
- "Santa Anita Derby Media Guide" (PDF). santaanita.com. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
- Hale, Ron. "History answers: Santa Anita still a gateway to Louisville | Daily Racing Form". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 4 April 2017.