STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN

SANTA ANITA DERBY FIELD AT THE READY FOR TODAY’S BIG RACE

The 10 three-year-olds entered in this afternoon’s Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby were poised at the ready Saturday morning, going through the final stages for the West Coast’s premier steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby on May 1.

In post position order, here’s what each did:

Posse Power, trained by Frank Lucarelli: walked the shed row.

Thomas Baines, trained by Doug O’Neill: walked.

Who’s Up, trained by Mike Puhich: walked.

Sidney’s Candy, trained by John Sadler: walked.

Setsuko, trained by Richard Mandella: walked.

Caracortado, trained by Mike Machowsky: walked.

Lookin At Lucky, trained by Bob Baffert: jogged one mile on the main track under exercise rider Manny Avila.

Cardiff Giant, trained by Mike Puhich: walked.

Skipshot, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer: walked.

Alphie’s Bet, trained by Alexis Barba: walked.

Sadler minced no words when asked about strategy for Sidney’s Candy, who led throughout his last two victories, the San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs and the San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, both Grade II events.

“We’re going to the front,” Santa Anita’s leading trainer said. “That’s his style and we’re not going to change it. We hope he can get the distance going at a faster pace (than he set in the San Felipe). That’s why you’re in here, to find out. We’re ready to go, but we’re running against the best horse in Lookin At Lucky. He makes this probably the toughest prep (for the Kentucky Derby).”

The field for the 73rd Santa Anita Derby, which is the sixth race on an 11-race program: Posse Power, Leslie Mawing, 50-1; Thomas Baines, Joel Rosario, 50-1; Who’s Up, Victor Espinoza, 20-1; Sidney’s Candy, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Setsuko, Rafael Bejarano, 20-1; Caracortado, Paul Atkinson, 5-1; Lookin At Lucky, Garrett Gomez, 4-5; Cardiff Giant, Christian Santiago Reyes, 30-1; Skipshot, Frank Alvarado, 15-1; and Alphie’s Bet, Alex Solis, 8-1. Each carries 122 pounds.

All fans in attendance at Santa Anita Saturday will receive a free, high-quality casual shirt with paid admission, while supplies last. There will also be a $500,000 guaranteed Pick 4.

BAFFERT SIGNING COLLECTIBLE JERSEYS TODAY

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who has won the Santa Anita Derby a record five times, will be available to sign the first-ever Bob Baffert collectible jersey documenting all of his Derby wins and past champions on Saturday in Santa Anita’s East Paddock Gardens area.

These limited edition jerseys are available in two separate editions, both of which will be available for purchase at Santa Anita’s Champions! Gifts and Apparel.

Endorsed by Breeders’ Cup Ltd., Churchill Downs, Santa Anita, and the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, these limited edition championship achievement jerseys are manufactured by MVP Athletic Apparel of Santa Clara, which also provides athletic sportswear for professional athletes and major sports teams nationally.

The $175 collectible features Baffert’s stable colors, a picture of Baffert on the sleeve, recognition of his Hall of Fame induction and an embroidered listing of many of his past and present champions including Lookin At Lucky, Midshipman, Indian Blessing, Vindication, War Emblem, Point Given, Chilukki, Silverbulletday, Real Quiet and Silver Charm.

This impressive roster includes the most prestigious graded stakes races won by each horse.

The $90 collectible includes Baffert’s stable colors, a picture of America’s most recognizable horseman and the year (2009) in which he was inducted in the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame.

Baffert and his wife, Jill, have announced that proceeds from the sale will go to benefit Old Friends Equine, a Kentucky retirement center for Thoroughbreds in Georgetown, Kentucky.

In addition to benefiting Old Friends, it is hoped that merchandising of this kind will help to enhance awareness of the Thoroughbred industry nationally.

Both jerseys prominently display the number three, emblematic of his three Kentucky Derby champions: Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (’98) and War Emblem (2002).

Anyone wishing to purchase these jerseys is encouraged to go to www.mvpchampions.com.

-30-