Patrick Valenzuela, Santa Anita’s leader in the jockey standings, and Hall of Famers Gary Stevens and Pat Day all have mounts in today’s $500,000 Winstar Derby at Sunland Park in New Mexico.
The 1 1/16-mile Winstar drew eight 3-year-olds, including the Bob Baffert-trained duo of Apalachian Thunder and Spensive. Owned by Don Dizney, Apalachian Thunder will be ridden by Valenzuela.
A gray son of Ponche owned by Paul Weitman and Karl Watson, Spensive has won two of eight. Stevens has the mount. Day will ride Excessivepleasure, a California-bred son of In Excess trained by Doug O’Neill for Lee and Ty Leatherman.
Race of the day: Bare Necessities and Alexine are in Santa Anita’s $75,000 Santa Lucia Handicap.
Who’s hot: Dean Pederson. The trainer is winning with 39% of his starters at Golden Gate.
Who’s not: Frank Gomez and Richard Root. The trainers are three for 67 at Gulfstream Park.
Exotically speaking: A pick three using Zanakar and Saintly Act in the seventh, singling Bare Necessities in the eighth and Stotz, Mr. Persistency and Another George in the ninth.
Winners: Previous day/meet total: 3/197. Money: Previous day/meet total: $18.60/$1,111.20. Total money bet: $1,184.