2020 Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita Park) - Predictions & Betting Odds

Santa Anita Derby

“If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick, Honor A.P.”

Post Position and Odds – Santa Anita Derby

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park!

(Bet Now)
1FRIAR’S ROAD30/1G FrancoM McCarthy
2RUSHIE12/1F PratM McCarthy
3SHOOTERS SHOOT8/1A CedilloP Eurton
4ANNEAU D’OR15/1V EspinozaB Wright
5AZUL COAST8/1U RispoliB Baffert
6HONOR A.P.5/2M SmithJ Shirreffs
7AUTHENTIC4/5D Van DykeB Baffert

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Perfect in three impressive starts, the Bob Baffert-trained Authentic figures to be a strong favorite as seven of California’s best 3-year-olds lineup for Saturday’s Grade 1, $400,000 Santa Anita Derby.

When last seen, Authentic, a bay son of Into Mischief, rolled to a 2 ½-length victory in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 7 at Santa Anita. Behind him that afternoon was another lightly raced and talented horse, Honor A.P.

The pair will renew acquaintances in California’s biggest race for sophomore males as the highly regarded Honor A.P. takes another shot at his speedy rival, this time at 9 furlongs.

While the top two from the San Felipe will garner most of the wagering interest, five others with credentials also hope to make some noise in the Kentucky Derby qualifying race. Saturday’s winner will earn 100 points, all but ensuring their entry into the Run for the Roses on September 5.

Santa Anita Derby Race Information

What: Santa Anita Derby (G1)

Where: Santa Anita Park

When: Saturday, June 6 — 4:00 pm Pacific time

How to watch: Stream Live with TVG!

Purse: $400,000

Race Analysis


He’s certainly made things look easy to date. Authentic won his debut in wire-to-wire fashion last November in fast time for 5 ½ furlongs, before stretching right out to win the Grade 3 Sham Stakes by 7 ¾ lengths at the beginning of 2020.  Things did not get a whole lot tougher when he made every pole a winning one in the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe in March.

Unbeaten and largely untested, the Santa Anita Derby will offer him the opportunity to prove just how good he is. The 9 furlong distance and the expected early pressure should make this his first real legitimate test. On paper, he is the one to beat, but his main rival in here only figures to get better with experience and distance, so at the odds, it looks like a good time to take a shot against Authentic on Saturday.

Honor A.P.

Has looked the part of a classic horse since he made his debut last summer at Del Mar. Left far behind the field in that maiden event, he flew home to get up for second.

Next, he showed versatility by leading the field throughout on his way to an easy score in an October maiden race. The son of Honor Code, an $850,000 yearling purchase, missed a bit of time before his third start, but when he made it back, he turned in a better than it looks second behind Authentic in the San Felipe. It was a race that the favorite was able to control from the outset, but this time a more experienced Honor A.P. should have some more help upfront to soften his rival up early. The long-striding colt also should appreciate the added distance of the 9 furlongs of the Santa Anita Derby. Authentic has the credentials going in, but this looks like a great spot for Honor A.P. to turn the tables and prove that he is a true classic horse.

Shooters Shoot

Scratched out of the Arkansas Derby, this son of Competitive Edge has since returned with two solid workouts at Santa Anita for trainer Peter Eurton. The most experienced horse in the field with six lifetime starts, he has demonstrated marked improvement in each of his last three. After chasing Charlton three starts back, he used his strong early speed to earn back-to-back wins at Santa Anita and Oaklawn Park. Those wins look legitimate, defeating some solid competition. He even showed some real toughness in his last one. He looms the main competition for the favorite early, and has improved to the point where he may be able to give Authentic a real battle, which could hurt both horse’s chances in the end.

Azul Coast

Baffert’s other horse, he has done little wrong in three starts, with two wins and a second. The problem is it is really difficult to tell how good the competition has been in his two wins which came at Los Alamitos and Golden Gate Fields respectively. In his only start against quality competition, he was able to rally for second in the Grade 3 Sham, but he was a long way behind his stablemate, Authentic. It seems unlikely that he will beat him on Saturday, but if the pace is hot, he looks to be one that will benefit the most. After the top two, he fits in as a horse with a chance.


A gray son of Liam’s Map, this Mike McCarthy-trainee has won two of his last three. After not showing much in a sprint in his only start at 2, he has come back with three good races this year, and all at a route of ground. He was trounced when second to Charlatan two starts back, but his next race, a 1 1/16 mile allowance win at Oaklawn Park last month came at the expense of some horses with stakes experience. He has enough tactical speed to sit a good trip behind the speed and certainly looks to be moving in the right direction.

Anneau d’Or

A very highly regarded juvenile after solid runner-up performances in both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Los Alamitos Futurity, he has yet to show much of anything in two starts as a 3-year-old. The form from those graded stakes races at two has not held up this year for other contestants, as well. On the plus side, he returns to his home state, and has run well at Santa Anita before, but only a sudden form reversal returning to California will give him much hope in here.

Friar’s Road

In a more ordinary race, this well-bred son of Quality Road would be getting plenty of attention, but as a maiden running in a Grade 1, he should be the rank outsider on the odds board. He might be worth a second look, though. With the pedigree to be a good one, he’s run against quality horses in all three races and has improved with each start. Last time he encountered traffic before finishing strongly to be second at Saturday’s distance of 9 furlongs. Further improvement could see him run a much better race than expected.

Best Bets for the Santa Anita Derby

Here are my plays ($32 in total)

$20 Exacta Honor A.P. over Authentic = $20

$3 Trifecta key Honor A.P. over Authentic and Friar’s Road = $6

$3 Trifecta key Honor A.P. over Authentic and Rushie = $6

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick, Honor A.P.

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