Perhaps the busiest man at Santa Anita in advance of Saturday's $1-million Santa Anita Derby was oddsmaker Jon White. That's usually not a good thing.
On Thursday, White had to reshuffle the numbers of the 11-horse field for the 74th edition of the prestigious race, a main prep for the May 7 Kentucky Derby, when a hairline fracture was discovered in the left foreleg of race favorite Premier Pegasus and trainer Myung Cho scratched him.
White made Bob Baffert's Jaycito, originally the 5-2 second choice, the 2-1 favorite.
Friday, that all changed again. Baffert had been nursing an abscess on Jaycito's foot and determined that it hadn't improved enough, so he scratched him, sending White back to the drawing board again.
So, barring more bad karma at the Great Race Place, Silver Medallion, trained by Steve Asmussen and Scott Blasi, will go to the gate as the top choice at 5-2, followed by Anthony's Cross at 3-1 and Comma to the Top at 7-2.
Silver Medallion, who will be ridden by Garrett Gomez, has six starts, with three firsts — including his last two races — a second, fourth and seventh. His last race was Feb. 12 at Golden Gate Fields. This will be his first race on a dirt surface.
Saturday's Derby Day program at Santa Anita also includes three other top races, the Grade II Provencia, the Grade II Arcadia and the Grade III Las Cienegas.