Some of the top thoroughbreds in the world will line up at Santa Anita Park in California this weekend for the 2013 Santa Anita Derby, a Grade 1 horse race that serves as a much-anticipated warm-up to the Triple Crown.
Last year's winner, I'll Have Another, went on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, while seven Santa Anita Derby winners in all have have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby.
Below, we'll highlight the favorites to win Saturday's one-and-one-eighth-mile race at Santa Anita Park.
*Odds according to Bloodhorse.com's Jack Shinar.
Flashback, Post No. 1
After finishing as runner-up in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park last month, Flashback will be the odds-on favorite to win this weekend.
He'll be ridden by a different jockey, Garrett Gomez, on Saturday following the disappointing finish in March, which saw Flashback surrender the lead late after getting into a pace showdown with Goldencents.
This time around, owners Gary and Mary West want to make sure Flashback finishes the job.
Despite his gut-wrenching defeat last month, there's good reason to bet on Flashback this Saturday. He won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at this park in February and has legendary trainer Bob Baffert in his corner as well.
Hear the Ghost, Post No. 2
Hear the Ghost was the reason for Flashback's heartbreak last month at Santa Anita, coming from behind to win the San Felipe Stakes.
Coming into Saturday, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's horse has two wins in just three career starts, which surely has a lot to do with his strong odds. It definitely doesn't hurt that Hear the Ghost was able to beat Flashback in March.
With Flashback looking like the horse to beat in Saturday's nine-horse field, Hear the Ghost and jockey Corey Nakatani will need to take advantage of their post position and keep Flashback within reach until the home stretch to have a shot.
Power Broker, Post No. 3
Another horse trained by Bob Baffert, Power Broker will start inside by the rail on Saturday along with fellow favorites Flashback and Hear the Ghost.
Although there's a lot to like about Power Broker considering he won the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita last year and has experience at this park, his fifth-place finish at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last November is a bit discouraging, especially considering that's the last time we saw him on a race track.
Five-to-one odds are nothing to sneeze at, but considering what we've seen from Flashback and Hear the Ghost at Santa Anita, it's safe to say that this weekend's showdown will be a two-horse race.
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