Santa Anita Derby: Tapalo is the betting value

Nicolle Neulist
By , Updated on: Apr 3, 2024 08:00 PM
Santa Anita Derby: Tapalo is the betting value

If you are serious about horse racing betting, you cannot miss the Santa Anita Derby (G1) on Saturday, April 8! The race features a field of eight to vie for $750,000 purse as well as 100-50-25-15-10 Road to the Kentucky Derby points to eligible horses among the top five finishers.

If an eligible horse wins the race they can guarantee a spot in the Kentucky Derby, and it is likely a second-place finish will be enough as well. Even the third- through fifth-placed horses might go to Kentucky if they have run well in other preps. All of the entrants are eligible for points except for runners trained by Bob Baffert, who remains suspended at Churchill Downs but not other tracks.

Historically speaking, it is one of the most important prep races for the Kentucky Derby. Ten of its winners have gone on to win under the twin spires at Churchill Downs. This includes Triple Crown winners Justify (2018) and Affirmed. In addition to Justify, two others since 2010 have also won both the Santa Anita Derby and the Kentucky Derby, California Chrome (2014) and I’ll Have Another (2012).

Tapalo To win the Santa Anita Derby

Who will add their name to this important list this year? Read on to find out, and to get to know the best places to bet on the 2024 Santa Anita Derby online!

Santa Anita Derby Field

This is the official field for the 2024 Santa Anita Derby including draw numbers, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:

  1. Curlin’s Kaos (Antonio Garcia / Diego Herrera) - 20/1
  2. Tapalo (John Sadler / Umberto Rispoli) - 5/1
  3. Stronghold (Phil D’Amato / Antonio Fresu) - 5/2
  4. Imagination (Bob Baffert / Frankie Dettori) - 8/5
  5. Wynstock (Bob Baffert / Juna Hernandez) - 8/1
  6. Tessuto (George Papaprodromou / Kazushi Kimura) - 10/1
  7. Mc Vay (John Shirreffs / Hector Berrios) - 5/1
  8. E J Won the Cup (Doug O’Neill / Mike Smith) - 15/1

Before you put down even a single dollar on the Santa Anita Derby, take a few moments to choose where to bet the race online. Betting online gives you an advantage: you can lock in odds the moment you bet on major races, instead of waiting for an on-track price that is not final until post time. Betting online also gives you the convenience of betting all your horse racing and sports in one place!

These are the Santa Anita Derby odds for the top of the market. Make sure to track the prices on the horses you think have a good shot, and be ready to place your bet to lock in the price!

Mc Vay+500+500+500

Click here for more Santa Anita Derby odds.

Santa Anita Derby Online Betting

It may sound difficult to choose the best online sportsbook for playing the Santa Anita Derby because there are so many options out there. However, our experts can help! Our trusted reviews will help you understand the features of each site and choose the best one for you quickly and easly.

Everything we recommend has the basics: market-leading odds, trusted payouts, and a great user interface. Our experts will also help you find the best bonuses and incentives for how you like to bet. Since different bonuses benefit different bettors more, taking a few minutes now to find the best deposit bonuses, rebates, and more for your betting style can mean hundreds or even thousands of extra dollars as you play!

Santa Anita Derby Handicapping

Now that you have your betting account set up, it is time to get to know the field for the race! Here are the most interesting betting horses in the 2024 Santa Anita Derby:

Santa Anita Derby Win Contenders

Two horses look like legitimate win contenders in this spot.

Imagination will be the favorite, and it makes sense why. He is trained by Bob Baffert, who always comes live to this race. He beat a substandard field in the San Felipe (G2) last out, but two back he ran Maymun to a neck in an allowance, and Maymun would have been a strong favorite had he entered this race. With tactical speed, expect him in contention start to finish.

Tapalo can also win this, but at a far better price. He comes in off a second-place finish behind Endlessly in the El Camino Real Derby. Endlessly already came back to win again impressively, and the race makes Tapalo the only one in the field who has tried nine furlongs. That was on Tapeta, but his two races on Santa Anita dirt were both very good and he has the speed to get a good, forward trip in this spot.

Tapalo To win the Santa Anita Derby

Santa Anita Derby Exotics Picks

Stronghold comes in after beating weaker foes in the Sunland Park Derby (G3) last out, but he is no stranger to the type of company he will see in the Santa Anita Derby. He finished second in a pair of graded races in Southern California late last year. And, though he has not raced sinceFebruary, trainer Phil D’Amato has his layoff horses ready to go and his workouts have been both regular and sharp over the last month.


Wynstock, the horse who beat Stronghold by half a length in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2), can also hit the board here. The Bob Baffert “B” stringer comes off of a disappointing effort in the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn, but that happened on a wet track and he gets dry ground this time. if he can come away well and be forward early, it would be no surprise to see him run on for a piece of the action.

Free Santa Anita Derby Picks

Your betting account is all set up, and you have gotten to know the field for the race. Now all you have left to do is the most fun part of all: placing your bets for the 2024 Santa Anita Derby! Here are the expert best bets for the race:

  • $20 to win - #2 Tapalo
  • $1 exacta - #2 Tapalo and #4 Imagination over #3 Stronghold
  • $0.50 trifecta key - #2 Tapalo with #3 Stronghold, #4 Imagination, #5 Wynstock
  • $0.20 superfecta key - #2 Tapalo with #3 Stronghold, #4 Imagination, #5 Wynstock
Tapalo To win the Santa Anita Derby

Meet the author

Nicolle Neulist

Nicolle Neulist brings an insider's view to the world of horse racing coverage, with a focus on the sport's biggest events. As our resident expert on the Triple Crown races - the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes - she provides precise predictions and...

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