Trainer John Sadler declared his 3-year-old Holy Candy fit for the trail leading to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) following the colt’s impressive maiden special weight at a mile in Santa Anita’s fourth race March 23 (VIDEO).
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Holy Candy raced greenly the final eighth of a mile but was still able to blow by Eaton Hall and draw off to win by 3 1/2 lengths, getting the mile distance in 1:35.98 before galloping out strongly.
Sadler said following the race that the April 7 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) is under consideration for the son of Candy Ride .
“We’ve thought all along he was our best 3-year-old and it was nice to see him finish and gallop out the way he did today,” said Sadler. “In his last couple of races, things have kind of worked against us. We caught a sealed track a couple races back and we’ve just felt that he needs to be able to make a quarter mile run.”
Bred by the Craig Family Trust in Kentucky and owned by Craig Stables and Donkey Island Racing, Holy Candy finished second as the favorite in his first three starts, most recently on March 3 at 1 1/16 miles.
Sent off as the heavy favorite at 1-2 odds and being ridden for the first time Rosario, Holy Candy sat well off fractions of 24.69, 48.64, 1:11.91, and 1:23.73 before taking over.
“We’ll look at some graded stakes, including the Santa Anita Derby,” said Sadler. “We’re definitely thinking about getting the (graded) earnings he’d need to run in the Kentucky Derby.”