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Santa Anita Derby: Forbidden Kingdom Good at the Right Time
Updated October 14, 2022
A field of six, including rising stars Forbidden Kingdom and Messier, will line up Saturday, April 9 for the Santa Anita Derby (G1). One of the featured horse races of the Santa Anita meet covers a mile and an eighth on the dirt and offers a $750,000 purse. It also offers 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Derby points to the top four finishers.
The race is historically a live prep for the Kentucky Derby, with ten winners of the Santa Anita Derby have gone on to win the Roses. Those include a pair of Triple Crown winners, Justify (2018) and Affirmed (1978). Other recent horses to win both this race and the Kentucky Derby include California Chrome (2014) and I’ll Have Another (2012).
Who will triumph at Santa Anita on Saturday? Read on to find out.
Santa Anita Derby Post Positions
This is the official field for the 2022 Santa Anita Derby including draw numbers, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:
These morning lines are an estimate about the odds as they will look come post time. However, you are not guaranteed to get these odds, and at the track or OTB they will fluctuate as post time draws closer.
Your best bet for the 2022 Santa Anita Derby is to bet the race at a trusted online sportsbook. They will let you lock in real Vegas odds, meaning you can bet as soon as you see an overlay on the horse and know those will be the odds you get when your horse wins, just like at a real Vegas casino.
Our recommended online sportsbooks give you the thrill of Las Vegas, and the best Vegas odds, anywhere you have an internet connection! You can play the Santa Anita Derby, and races all year long, from your phone, tablet, or computer.
There are many options for online sportsbooks, but our experts can help you make the best choice. Our online betting site guide helps you find out quickly what each sportsbook has to offer, and which one is best for you. All our recommended sites offer true Vegas odds, and our experts help you figure out where to find the best betting site bonuses based on your wagering style.
This means you can guarantee yourself the most profitable experience betting the Santa Anita Derby!
Free Santa Anita Derby Picks
Now that you have your online betting account, it is time to take a look at the race. Read on, and get to know the best horses in the 2022 Santa Anita Derby.
Santa Anita Derby Favorites
Forbidden Kingdom and Messier will vie for favoritism. In a short field over a track where speed tends to play well, the advantage goes to Forbidden Kingdom. He blossomed in the San Felipe when he tried two turns for the first time. Furthermore, he already proved that he is faster early than Armagnac, a horse who looks likely to be entered as a rabbit for Messier.
Messier will be battling Forbidden Kingdom for favoritism. It makes sense, as he was last seen winning the Robert B. Lewis Stakes by 15 lengths. He also beat Forbidden Kingdom the one time they faced each other, last year in the Bob Hope (G3). However, Forbidden Kingdom is better now than he was then, and is likely to have a tactical advantage over late-running Messier.
Likely to get a better trip is the probable third choice in the betting, Taiba. Though he has yet to try two turns and has yet to face winners, his debut maiden win was impressive. And, being by Gun Runner, he has a good chance to train on and stretch out, giving him upside under big-race rider Mike Smith.
Santa Anita Derby Value Horses
Armagnac, Happy Jack, and Win the Day will all be longshots. That makes sense, as all three of them have a lot to prove. Armagnac does his best work up front, and may be in to try and give Forbidden Kingdom early pressure, but the San Felipe suggests he is too slow to do so.
Happy Jack broke his maiden in a sprint back in January, so he has proven that he can handle the Santa Anita dirt. However, he has class and distance questions to answer. His pair of two-turn outings since, both in Derby points races, have left him with a lot to find against the likes of Messier and Forbidden Kingdom.
Among these longshots Win the Day has the best chance to improve enough to find the frame. He made his first two starts over turf, but blossomed into winning form on March 6 when he switched to dirt for the first time. His lack of early speed could be a problem, but his connections do well in big races and he remains unexposed on the dirt.
2022 Santa Anita Derby Expert Picks
These are the best bets for the 2022 Santa Anita Derby!
$20 to win – #3 Forbidden Kingdom
$1 exacta – #3 Forbidden Kingdom over #6 Taiba
$0.50 trifecta – #3 Forbidden Kingdom over #6 Taiba over #4 Messier and #5 Win the Day
For 10 years, Rowan Ward has been handicapping and betting horses in Chicago. For almost as long, they has also been writing about horse racing. They are aware that the best handicapping approaches for a given race rely on a variety of variables, but they frequently discover that the proverb "the pace makes the race" can yield profitable betting opportunities. Local Chicago races, national stakes races, and two-year-old maiden races with intriguing pedigrees are some of their favorite events to handicap.