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Practical Move wins the Santa Anita Derby 2023 despite a Valiant Effort from Mandarin Hero | Dramatic Scenes at the Santa Anita Derby 2023

Santa Anita Derby 2023 | Brief Overview:

The Santa Anita Derby is among North America’s most prestigious races for three-year-olds and a key prep race for the Kentucky Derby. The 2023 edition of the race was a thrilling contest that saw Practical Move edge out Mandarin Hero by a nose in a photo finish while Skinner finished third, half a length behind.

Mandarin Hero’s impressive performance wins all Hearts:

The Santa Anita Derby saw an unexpected turn of events when an underdog stole the show from the favourite, leaving everyone in awe. Although Practical Move was anticipated to win, it was Mandarin Hero who captivated the hearts of the crowd, proving that even the most unlikely contenders can emerge as heroes. This horse made history by being the first ever Japanese horse to compete in the Santa Anita Derby and nearly left with the win.

The credit for Mandarin Hero’s remarkable performance goes to the horse’s trainer, Terunobu Fujita, who had long harboured a dream of seeing one of his horses run in this race. Fujita’s vision came to fruition, and the horse’s jockey, Kazushi Kimura, brought his A-game to the race, ensuring Mandarin Hero stayed in the running throughout the event.

The Santa Anita Derby may have been Practical Move’s day, but it was Mandarin Hero’s moment in the sun. The horse’s extraordinary performance showcased the power of determination and hard work, proving that anything is possible with the right mindset. Despite missing out on the Kentucky Derby, Mandarin Hero has left a lasting legacy in the world of horse racing, inspiring millions around the globe.

Practical Move wins the Santa Anita Derby yet again:

Practical Move, the even-money favourite, was ridden by Ramon Vazquez and trained by Tim Yakteen, who became the eighth trainer to win consecutive Santa Anita Derbies after Taiba’s victory last year. The son of Practical Joke broke well from post six and settled in third behind One In Vermillion, and I Don’t Get It, who set a moderate pace of 23.45 and 47.12 for the first half-mile.

As the field turned for home, Vazquez made his move with Practical Move and took the lead in the stretch, but he had to fend off the late challenges of Mandarin Hero and Skinner, who both came flying from off the pace. Mandarin Hero, a Japanese invader who had won four of five in his homeland, showed a tremendous turn of foot and almost caught Practical Move at the wire but fell short by a whisker.

Skinner, a son of Curlin trained by John Shirreffs and ridden by Victor Espinoza, also made a strong bid but ran out of ground.

Statistics from Santa Anita Derby:

Practical Move completed the 1 1/8 miles on dirt in 1:48.69 and earned 100 points toward the Kentucky Derby, securing his spot in the Run on the 6th of May, 2023. He improved his record to four wins from seven starts and increased his earnings to $1,050,000. He had previously won the Los Alamitos Juvenile and the San Felipe Stakes in dominant fashion.

Qualification for Kentucky Derby evades Mandarin Hero despite impressive returns | Santa Anita Derby Results 2023:

Mandarin Hero earned 40 points for his runner-up effort but failed to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, while Skinner earned 20 points and moved up to ninth on the leaderboard. The fourth-place finisher was Geaux Rocket Ride, who earned 10 points.

One of the major upsets of the race was when Geaux Rocket Ride, the second favourite to win at Santa Anita Park, was scratched from the race due to a slight fever. This Richard Mandella-trained horse had 3-1 odds to win it all but had to sit out, dealing a severe blow to its chances of qualifying for the Kentucky Derby.

A look into what Kentucky Derby may offer:

The Santa Anita Derby was a thrilling race showcasing some of the Kentucky Derby’s top contenders. Practical Move proved his class and courage by holding off two strong challengers, while Mandarin Hero and Skinner showed they belong among the elite three-year-olds in North America.

Santa Anita Derby 2023