East Vs. West? Santa Anita Appears To Be Short Kentucky Derby Contenders

Cheyenne Stables’ Mastery and jockey Mike Smith win the Grade I $ 300,000 Los Alamitos Cashcall Futurity Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Los Alamitos Race Course, Cypress, CA©Benoit Photo

Horses from Southern California have dominated the Kentucky Derby in four of the last five years, from I’ll Have Another, to California Chrome, American Pharoah and Nyquist. But this year, writes John Cherwa for the LA Times, the only Santa Anita-based contender in the Kentucky Derby future wager’s top five is Mastery, trained by Bob Baffert.

Four of the future wager’s top five are based on the Eastern half of the United States. Classic Empire, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and undefeated save for one start in which he lost his rider, led the early pool at 6-1 and will be based at Palm Meadows in Florida. Three other East Coast stars will also continue their preparations either in Florida or New York, including McCraken, Mo Town and Practical Joke.

Mastery missed out on the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but was convincing in his victory in the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity, following the path of Baffert’s Derby contenders Dortmund and Mor Spirit. Each of those two ran back in the Feb. 4 Robert Lewis Stakes, though Mastery’s next race has not been laid out. With other 3-year-old races the San Vicente, San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby all looming in the not-so-far-away future, Santa Anita still has time to produce a few more top Kentucky Derby contenders.

Read more at the LA Times.

Racing – Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

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