There are no stars like Brother Derek in the Santa Anita Derby this year. There might be another sleeper like Giacomo.
The 11/8-mile test for 3-year-olds, often a West Coast steppingstone toward the Triple Crown races, shapes up as one of the most unpredictable in years.
Liquidity, coming off a sixth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby and whose lone win was in his racing debut last September, is the 5-2 favorite for the 70th running of the Santa Anita Derby.
In last year's Santa Anita Derby, Brother Derek went off as the 1-2 favorite and won by 31/4 lengths, setting him up to be one of the favorites leading to the Kentucky Derby. He ended up fourth.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Sun Herald
The Santa Anita Derby-Kentucky Derby link was considerably different in 2005.
Giacomo finished fourth as long-shot Buzzards Bay won at Santa Anita. Giacomo went on to win the Kentucky Derby as a 50-1 shot.
Wood Memorial: This could be the key prep of the day, with Nobiz Like Shobiz facing Any Given Saturday. Nobiz Like Shobiz has been touted as a potential star since he began his career, and he still might prove to be one. But Any Given Saturday looks like the stronger horse; he gave Street Sense a tough fight in the Tampa Bay Derby, losing by only a nose with a more difficult trip. Of all the 3-year-olds running today, he is the one most likely to verify that he is a bona fide Kentucky Derby contender.
Aqueduct: Ice Cool Kitty split rivals in the stretch and drew off to a 31/2-length victory yesterday in the $46,000 allowance feature for fillies and mares in New York. Apprentice Joe Talamo was aboard for his third win on the card. Ice Cool Kitty ran a mile on the fast track in 1:35.39.