"Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," the NTRA-produced series on the ESPN networks, will air a live doubleheader Saturday consisting of the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) from Santa Anita Park and the Illinois Derby (gr. II) from Sportsman's Park. The show will air Saturday from 5-6 p.m. (EST) on ESPN.
The 1 1/8-miles Santa Anita Derby boasts six winners who have gone on to capture the Kentucky Derby, the latest being Sunday Silence in1989. Last year's winner, Point Given, went on to victory in the Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and was named 2001 Horse of the Year. In the late '90s, three consecutive Kentucky Derby winners started in the Santa Anita Derby, including Silver Charm ('97), Real Quiet ('98) and Charismatic ('99).
The $750,000 Santa Anita Derby is expected to feature eight 3-year-olds, including likely favorite Came Home, who is coming off back-to-back wins in the San Rafael and San Vicente Stakes (both gr. II). Mayakovsky, winner of the Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct his last time out, is the likely second choice. Came Home and Mayakovsky hooked up in last year's Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, finishing first and second, respectively. Also scheduled to run are the Bob Baffert-trained Danthebluegrassman, Easy Grades, U S S Tinosa, Lusty Latin, Jack's Silver, and Tracemark.
Select Stable's Repent, runner-up to Johannesburg in the 2001 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), tops a field of 10 in the 1 1/8-miles Illinois Derby. Coming off a win in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), Repent, who drew the outside post, will face Peekskill, Publication, Fonz's, Changeintheweather, One Tuff Fox, War Emblem, Robin Zee, Boston Common, and Secret Command in the $500,000 race.
Hosting Saturday's telecast will be Jeff Medders, joined by Randy Moss and Charlsie Cantey.