Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Betting Guide

The Runhappy Santa Anita Derby is the final stop of the Road to the Kentucky Derby. All of the main players will be in action for the race, which will give gamblers a final look at the conditioning of some of the star three-year-olds that will be looking for Triple Crown success later in the year.

Event Details

Santa Anita Park plays host to the Santa Anita Derby, with the Grade 1 event taking place in April every year. The race is run over a distance of a mile and an eighth and is the final prep run before the Kentucky Derby.


There will be a prize purse of $400,000 up for grabs at the event, which is fitting considering that many consider the Santa Anita Derby to be the most important stop on the West Coast in the lead-up to the Kentucky Derby.

Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Predictions

The final declarations for the Santa Anita Derby will be announced on the Wednesday before the race. However, the absence of Life Is Good will make it an intriguing race to bet on this year. The runners for the race this year can be found below:


  • Roman Centurion

  • Rombauer

  • Medina Spirit

  • Dream Shake

  • Rock Your World

  • The Great One

  • Get Her Number


Life Is Good’s absence ensures that this will be a good betting race for gamblers. There are four main contenders to claim the win at the Santa Anita Derby this weekend. 

Medina Spirit for trainer Bob Baffert is the pick of the four, as he has won once from three starts. His only defeats have come in head-to-head clashes with Life Is Good. The three-year-olds last run was in the San Felipe Stakes, where he finished eight lengths behind his stablemate.


Rombauer will come to Santa Anita with the most to prove, as he will be looking for entry to the Kentucky Derby. He previously claimed success in the El Camino Derby, which booked his spot in the Preakness Stakes. 

The Great One is another contender but will need to bounce back after finishing 17 lengths behind Life Is Good at Santa Anita in March. Rock Your World could be one of the most interesting horses in the field, as he has won his last two but has predominantly found success on the turf.

Runhappy Santa Anita Derby Information

The Santa Anita Derby was first run in 1935, but since 2013 it has taken on greater importance as it has formed part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The winning horse in the race receives 100 points, which effectively guarantees their spot in the opening Triple Crown race of the season. History does prove that success at the Santa Anita Derby does bold well for Triple Crown success, as ten previous winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby.


Affirmed is the most successful winner of the Santa Anita Derby, as he went on to win all Triple Crown events in the same season. Winning Color made history in 1998 by winning the Santa Anita Derby on route to becoming the first filly to win both at Santa Anita and Churchill Downs. The Santa Anita Derby returned to the dirt track in 2011 after being run on Cushion Track, Pro-Ride, and artificial surfaces in the three years prior.


The record for the fastest time in the Santa Anita Derby is jointly held by Sham, Lucky Debonair, and Indian Charlie, who all finished the race at a time of 1:47. Gary Stevens is the most successful jockey in the history of the race, as he has won on nine occasions. 

Meanwhile, trainer Bob Baffert has had the winner nine times. His most recent win came in 2019 with Roadster. Honor A.P won the race in 2020, which was the third straight success for jockey Mike E. Smith.

How to Bet on the 2021 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby

Betting on the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby is hugely popular, and there are a variety of markets that are available to gamblers. Some of the markets that you can make wagers on for the huge race can be found below.

  • Win: The most straightforward way to place a wager on the Santa Anita Derby is on the Win market. In order to claim the returns on this wager, you will simply need to put your stake on the horse that is first past the post.

  • Place: The place market is more popular when it comes to races with bigger fields. The sportsbook will payout on the first two places on the Santa Anita Derby, which could potentially be a decent market should you be looking to wager on a selection with a higher price.

  • Exacta: One of the more difficult markets to wager on the Santa Anita Derby is the Exacta. The bet must correctly predict the horses that finish in the first two positions in the exact order. Returns on this market can be more lucrative than on the win market.

  • Trifecta/ Superfecta: As well as the Exacta, gamblers can also place bets on the Trifecta and Superfecta. The Trifecta market will require the gambler to correctly bet on the horses that finish first, second and third in the exact order. Meanwhile, the Superfecta requires gamblers to successfully predict the horses in the first four places in the correct order.

Whatever kind of bet you decide to set, make sure you do your own detailed research before diving in and committing.