Rock Hard Ten stamped himself as a prime candidate for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 3, rolling to a sharp 1-¾ length victory over Teton Forest in a $53,872 allowance event for 3-year-olds Wednesday at Santa Anita Park.
Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, Rock Hard Ten raced three-wide on both turns before collaring pace-setting Jimmy's Instinct in mid-stretch. The Kentucky-bred son of Kris S. was then hand-ridden to the wire as Teton Forest rallied to finish second.
Racing around two turns for the first time, Rock Hard Ten ran one mile in 1:36 1/5 and paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. Jason Orman is the trainer for Mercedes Stable LLC and Madeleine Paulson, who bred him.
Rock Hard Ten is undefeated in two starts with earnings of $57,600. The dark bay or brown colt won his seven-furlong debut in 1:22 1/5 on Feb. 7.(Chart, Equibase)