The 85th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, a race that has produced 19 Kentucky Derby winners, heads a tremendous day of racing and entertainment options this Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. In addition to the Derby, six other stakes, including the Grade 2, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks will be prominent on a 12-race program beginning at 12 noon PT.
Legendary all-time great Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., will present the trophy for the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby. A fan favorite and a 14-time leading rider at Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring Meet, Pincay won the Santa Anita Derby seven times.
Prior to the races beginning at 11:30, representatives of the Los Angeles Rams will be on-hand to meet fans as part of the Rams Super Bowl Championship Lombardi Trophy Fan Experience near the Kingsbury Fountain in the West Paddock. General Manager Les Snead will be in the Seabiscuit Walking Ring prior to the Santa Anita Derby and will issue the call for “Riders Up!”
After a two-year absence, Santa Anita’s popular Derby Day 5K Run & Walk is back and will begin in the South Parking Lot B, accessible via Gate 3 at Holly Ave. and Huntington Drive beginning at 7:45 a.m. Fans can register on the day of the event beginning at 6:30 p.m., or in advance by visiting www.derbyday5k.com.
Families are welcome at Santa Anita and with track’s Infield Spring Carnival in full swing through April 17, a myriad of activities are available, including Pony Rides, a Ferris Wheel, Roller Coaster, Train Rides, Face Painting and much more. Fans are encouraged to visit santaanita.com/events for ticketing and to take advantage of big savings on Infield admission and unlimited ride wristbands.
Special early first post time on Saturday is at 12 noon with admission gates opening at 10 a.m. Santa Anita’s Infield is easily accessible via Gate 6 off of Colorado Place on the track’s northern perimeter.
The Runhappy Santa Anita Derby will be broadcast live via Santa Anita’s simulcast network, TVG and on over-the-air NBC. The Derby will be the third and final stop on NBC’s 90 minute telecast which will air from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. PT and be preceded by two other Kentucky Derby preps, the Grade 2 Wood Memorial from Aqueduct and Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland. Britney Eurton will be on-site and will provide analysis as well as pre and post race interviews.
Approximate post time for the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, for 3-year-olds at a mile and one eighth, is 2:45 p.m. PT. Santa Anita morning line maker Jon White has installed the Tim Yakteen-trained Messier, who will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, as the even-money favorite. Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella will send out the second choice on the morning line, Forbidden Kingdom, who has been “lined” at 6-5 and will be ridden by Juan Hernandez.
RUNHAPPY SANTA ANITA DERBY DAY TIMELINE & PRICING
–7:45 A.M. to 9:45 A.M DERBY DAY 5K RUN & WALK
–10 A.M. ADMISSION GATES OPEN
-$10 GENERAL/CLUB HOUSE ADMISSION, which includes Parking, Program and Admission. (While all Box Seats have been sold out for Derby Day, Grandstand Seating is available, at no additional charge, on a first come, first served basis).
-$5 INFIELD ADMISSION, which includes Parking, Program and Admission.
–11:30 A.M. LA RAMS LOMBARDI TROPHY FAN EXPERIENCE featuring LA Rams cheerleaders and Rams mascot, RAMPAGE, near the Kingsbury Fountain in the West Paddock.
–2:45 P.M. Runhappy Santa Anita Derby
Entries and complete morning line information for all of Santa Anita’s races this Saturday is available at santaanita.com. For additional information, please call (626) 574-RACE.