Stakes Profile: Santa Anita Derby
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
The Santa Anita Derby is a 9 furlong race for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita Park. First run in 1935, it’s currently a Kentucky Derby points race. The race was run over an all weather surface in 2009 and 2010. While the Santa Anita Derby has produced its fair share of Kentucky Derby winners, what kind of betting race is it?
Below is a snapshot of what has produced Santa Anita Derby winners since 1991 including odds, bettors’ choice, field size, running styles, prior race location, prior race finish position, number of days since the last race as well as Brisnet Speed Figures.
The charts and graphs are interactive. Hover over or touch bars and lines for more information.
Santa Anita Derby Winners Odds & Payouts 1991-2018
Odds are shown as listed in the charts. Hover-over or touch each bar for $2 payout.
Outliers Castledale (IRE) (2004 $30 odds), Buzzards Bay (2005 $30.10 odds) and Tiago (2007 $29.30 odds) have been excluded from the graph below to allow for an overall better visualization. They are included in the averages and medians.
Average $1 Odds: $6.30
Median $1 Odds: $2.70
Average $1 Odds: $4.40
Median $1 Odds: $3.80
Average $2 Win: $14.60
Median $2 Win: $7.40
Average $2 Win: $10.90
Median $2 Win: $9.60
Santa Anita Derby Winners Bettors’ Choice and Field Size 1991-2018
Bettors’ Choice is the ranked order of the field by final odds: The favorite is the first choice, the second favorite is the second choice and so on. For example, 1991 winner Dinard was 2nd choice in a 9 horse field. Hover-over or touch the bars for more information
Average Choice of Winner: 2.86
Average Field Size: 8.14
Average Favorite Finish Position: 2.42
Average Choice of Winner: 2.78
Average Field Size: 8.67
Average Favorite Finish Position: 2.33
Winning Santa Anita Derby Running Styles 1991-2018
To read the charts below, 0 on the vertical axis is the lead, any distance behind the leader is below 0 and any distance above 0 is the amount the leader is ahead of the next horse. At the bottom are the points of call as they correspond to the charts. Each line is a horse, and you can hover over the point of call for each line to see more information about the horse.
For example, if you hover over the bottom-most line in the first chart at the 1/2 mile mark you’ll see that in the 2016 winner Exaggerator was 16.5 lengths behind the leader at this point in the race.
The Santa Anita Derby has been predominately won by stalkers/pressers since 1991. Speed horses have also performed well in the time period. In the last 10 years stalkers/pressers have won 40% of the time.
Position at the 1/2 mile mark…
Speed: In the lead
Presser/Stalker: Between .1 and 3 lengths off leader
Off the pace: Between 3 and 6 lengths off the leader
Deep closer: More than 6 lengths off the leader
Below is a closer look at winning running styles by decade.
Santa Anita Derby Winners Last Track Raced & Days Since 1991-2018
All but two winners have come from Santa Anita since 1991. On average winners have raced within the last 27 days.
Average Days Since Last Race: 27.68
Median Days Since Last Race: 28
Winners Placing in Prior Race 1991-2018
60% of Santa Anita Derby winners won their prior race and more than three quarters of the winners finished in the money, or no worse than third, last out.
Santa Anita Derby Brisnet Ratings 1991-2018
The chart below represents the last three Brisnet Speed Ratings earned by the Santa Anita Derby winner, and includes the winning figure for the Santa Anita Derby. In instances where a starter did not have three consecutive Brisnet Speed Ratings leading into the Santa Anita Derby, the line starts with most recently available rating.
Winning Brisnet Speed: 102
Brisnet Speed Prior Race: 99
Brisnet Speed 2 Back: 97
Brisnet Speed 3 Back: 94
The last 10 years have been evenly split between Santa Anita Derby winners coming in an improved and regressed Brisnet Speed Rating.
The Santa Anita Derby has generally been a formful race where favorites have performed slightly better than the generally accepted win rate of 35% to win 39.3% of the time. The average winning odds since 1991 are about 6.3-1 with a median of 2.7-1 and an average $14.60 payout for a $2 win ticket. Since 2010 those averages have crept down to 4.4-1 and $10.90 to win.
The winner on average has been 2nd choice, almost 3rd (2.86) since 1991 and has dipped slightly since 2010 2.78. The favorite has an average finish position of 2nd (2.42) since 1991.
Stalkers/Pressers have performed best since 1991 winning 46.4% of the time. In the last 10 runnings they’ve continued the trend winning 40% of the time.
Winners have overwhelmingly come from Santa Anita since 1991. Field size has been above the 2017 average of 7.7 starters with an average of 8.14 starters since 1991 and 8.67 since 2010.
A majority of winners came in on an improved Brisnet Speed Rating from their prior race since 1991 while 32.1% of winners came in on two consecutive improved Brisnet Speed Ratings. Winners have been evenly split in the last years between improved and regressed speed ratings but only 10% have come in with two consecutive improved ratings.