I think one of three horses — heavy favorite Lookin At Lucky, Sidney’s Candy or Caracortado — will win today’s Santa Anita Derby.
Lookin At Lucky, the prohibitive 4-5 favorite, has the most impressive resume of any of this year’s Kentucky Derby contenders, what with three Grade 1 victories on his ledger and six wins in seven starts overall.
But, both the Florida Derby on March 20 and last Saturday’s Louisiana Derby were won by outsiders and the Santa Anita Derby might fall right in line by producing an upset winner.
* Sidney’s Candy has the speed to wire his nine opponents. He doesn’t figure to get the same soft fractions he got when he went gate to wire in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 13, but his sire, Candy Ride, won the 2003 Pacific Classic at Del Mar, setting a track and stakes record in the process, and Sidney’s Candy, who’ll be ridden by Joe Talamo, could easily wire this field today.
* Caracortado, who suffered his first loss in the San Felipe when he finished third behind Sidney’s Candy and Interactif, should get a more realisitic pace to run at here and could be tough to hold off in the stretch. He’s a Cal-bred, but remember, Cal-breds have won two of the past eight Santa Anita Derbies, including Brother Derek in 2006 and Came Home in 2002.
Some handicappers like Alphie’s Bet today, but I don’t see it. He looked impressive in winning the Sham Stakes on March 6, but he didn’t beat much and his Beyer Speed Figure for the race — 86 — was not impressive.
It will be one of the top three in the winner’s circle today, and it’s hard to pick against Lookin At Lucky because of what he’s accomplished so far in his young career.