The Santa Anita Derby is an American Grade 1 thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds run each April at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California and carries a purse of $750,000. Inaugurated in 1935, it is considered the most important West Coast stepping-stone to the Kentucky Derby. Since its inception, six Santa Anita Derby winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby.
Now run at a distance of 1 1/8 miles (9 Furlongs), for the first three years it was 1 1/16th miles, and at 1 1/4 miles in 1947.
Prep races to the Santa Anita Derby include the San Rafael Stakes, San Miguel Stakes, San Felipe Stakes, Sham Stakes, San Vicente Stakes and the Santa Catalina Stakes, all run at Santa Anita Park.
As a result of World War II, there were no races held from 1942 to 1944.
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