With the Run for the Roses less than one month away, the horse racing world turned its attention to the 2018 Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, on Saturday.
Justify, Bolt d'Oro and Instilled Regard entered as the favorites in the latest Kentucky Derby qualifier—so the result should not come as a surprise for anyone.
A total of 170 qualifying points were on the line in the 1 ⅛ mile race.
2018 Santa Anita Derby Results
2. Bolt d'Oro
3. Core Beliefs
4. Instilled Regard
5. Pepe Tono
6. Orbit Rain
7. Jimmy Chila
2018 Santa Anita Derby Payouts
1. Justify (Win: $3.80; Place: $2.20, Show: $2.10)
2. Bolt d'Oro (Place: $2.20, Show: $2.10)
3. Core Beliefs (Show: $4.00)
Payouts courtesy of the official website of the Kentucky Derby.
In an intriguing seven-horse field, it was Justify who pulled out the victory—and did so in impressive fashion.
Bolt d'Oro gave a strong effort, but in the end, the Bob Baffert-trained Justify was able to hold the field off down the final stretch, as XBTV showed:
America's Best Racing noted there was a reason Justify entered as the favorite:
With the first-place finish, Justify grabbed 100 qualifying points.
As Travis Ragsdale of WDRB News noted, an impressive showing on Saturday will put Justify among the favorites in next month's showcase:
Recent winners of the Santa Anita Derby have also enjoyed success at the Kentucky Derby. While last year's winner Gormley finished ninth, Exaggerator placed second the year before and Dortmund came in third in 2015. Of course, California Chrome reached the winner's circle in 2014.
All eyes will be on Justify to see if the trend can get back on track.