California Chrome

California Chrome

Benoit Photo

California Chrome, Candy Boy Top Calif. Works

Santa Anita Derby choices drill on West Coast as others gear up for future starts.

California Chrome  and Candy Boy, the two favorites for the upcoming $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), both turned in their final major drills March 29 for their highly anticipated meeting.

California Chrome—the Lucky Pulpit colt who has won three in a row by daylight including the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II)—went four furlongs at his Los Alamitos headquarters in :46 2/5 under regular rider Victor Espinoza.

Candy Boy, winner of the Robert B. Lewis (gr. II), clocked six furlongs at Santa Anita Park in 1:11 4/5 under regular rider Gary Stevens.

The 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby is April 5.

"He looked sharp," trainer Art Sherman said of California Chrome. "He galloped out strong, five furlongs in a minute, and three-quarters in 1:13 2/5. All systems are go. His work was super; I was very impressed. I'll get him over there (to Santa Anita), school him in the gate, go through the paddock and then we'll be ready to go. Since it's supposed to rain Tuesday, we might go over Wednesday (April 2). He's doing great here."

"It was excellent," Espinoza said. "It was easy for him, forty-six and two, a little bit fast. He was even more on the muscle today (than in his previous work). He was excited to go. I'm just happy to be on him and I look forward to every race he runs."

Candy Boy, working in company with maiden stablemate Prospector Alley, started about five lengths behind that runner and finished up four in front, tracking most of the way before taking the lead near the sixteenth pole. Private clocker Gary Young got the seven furlong gallop out in 1:26.

"We're where we want to be with him," trainer John Sadler said of the Candy Ride  colt. "Everything has gone according to schedule so far."

Others possible for the West Coast's major steppingstone to the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) include allowance winner Bayern  and Rebel Stakes (gr. II) victor Hoppertunity for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, Dublin Up, Rprettyboyfloyd, The Admiral, SchoolofhardrocksBig Tire, and Friendswith K Mill.

Friendswith K Mill worked five furlongs for Doug O'Neill in 1:00 flat, while Big Tire went six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 for Mark Glatt.

Post positions for the Santa Anita Derby will be drawn April 2.

Also on the March 29 worktab at Santa Anita was Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) contender Fashion Plate, who will make her first start for trainer Simon Callaghan since capturing the Feb. 1 Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I). The Old Fashioned filly went five furlongs in :59 3/5.

"We were always going to wait for this race," trainer Simon Callaghan said in explaining the two-month gap between starts. "It's good timing and for fillies, I think proper spacing is important. She's doing everything right and we're looking forward to the race."

Probables for the Oaks also include Arethusa, Honey Ride, and Ria Antonia.

Among other 3-year-olds working at Santa Anita was Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) candidate Dance With Fate, who went six furlongs for Peter Eurton in 1:12 4/5.