The top two finishers from last month's San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita will go at it again in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby. The 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep has drawn a field of nine 3-year-olds.
Part of the new Kentucky Derby points system, the Santa Anita Derby is worth 170 points with 100 going to the winning horse. The 20 3-year-olds with the most points gain entry into the Run for the Roses on May 4.
Last year I'll Have Another became the first Santa Anita Derby winner to capture the Kentucky Derby since Sunday Silence in 1989.
Tapped as the 9-5 morning line favorite is San Felipe runner-up Flashback. One of three entrants trained by Bob Baffert, the gray colt will start from the inside post with Garrett Gomez getting the mount for the first time.
Owned by Gary and Mary West, Flashback was the even-money favorite in the San Felipe but lost by a half-length to Hear the Ghost. After winning his debut effort in December the colt came back in February to capture the Robert B. Lewis Stakes.
Flashback has earned $207,000 in his three starts.
Baffert will also start Power Broker and Super Ninety Nine.
San Felipe winner Hear the Ghost is the 5-2 second choice in the program. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the chestnut gelding will break next to the favorite with Corey Nakatani getting his second mount on the 3-year-old.
"He ended up working Hear the Ghost and he liked him, and so he ended up riding him like that," the trainer explained about using Nakatani.
Hear the Ghost, owned by the trainer and Halo Farms, also won his debut start in December and came in second at Santa Anita in the San Pedro Stakes. In his three starts the gelding has banked $222,400.
"We thought we had a really nice horse when he closed off ground in the San Pedro and, you know, actually, he kind of surprised us when he won his first out," Hollendorfer said. "He didn't show that he would be like that in the mornings. But we still liked him, so that's why we ran him maiden special weight, and then he ran in the San Pedro and ran well, and has continued to take strides forward in the San Felipe, and we'll see if he can keep doing that in the Santa Anita Derby."
Goldencents, fourth in the San Felipe, is 6-1 in the morning line and will be ridden by Kevin Krigger from post 5.
Co-owned by Rick Pitino, Goldencents won the Sham Stakes to begin the year after claiming the Delta Downs Jackpot in November. After winning his career debut at Del Mar last September the colt finished second at Belmont Park in the Champagne Stakes behind Shanghai Bobby.
Goldencents has earned $800,000 with three wins in five starts.
From the rail out here is the full field for the Santa Anita Derby: Flashback, Garrett Gomez, 9-5; Hear the Ghost, Corey Nakatani, 5-2; Power Broker, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1; Tiz A Minister, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Goldencents, Kevin Krigger, 6-1; Super Ninety Nine, Martin Garcia, 6-1; Summer Exclusive, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; Storm Fighter, Gary Stevens, 20-1 and Dirty Swagg, Tyler Baze, 50-1.
Post-time for the Santa Anita Derby is set for 6:45 p.m. (ET).