Schoolofhardrocks finished fourth in the San Felipe Stakes.

Schoolofhardrocks finished fourth in the San Felipe Stakes.

Benoit Photo

Schoolofhardrocks Works Well for SA Derby

San Felipe fourth-place finisher continues to show improvement for Dave Hofmans.

Schoolofhardrocks, coming off a fourth-place finish in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), worked six furlongs on the Santa Anita Park main track the morning of March 28 in 1:12 4/5 in preparation for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).

The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, the West Coast's major prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is April 5.

"He worked great," said trainer David Hofmans of Schoolofhardrocks, a son of Rock Hard TenMiss Chapin, by Royal Academy. Hofmans witnessed the drill with owner John Amerman, who bred the colt along with his wife, Jerry.

Schoolofhardrocks, making just his second start and his initial appearance in 2014,  finished 15 lengths behind the victorious California Chrome  in the March 8 San Felipe.

"He hadn't run in more than six months, since breaking his maiden at Del Mar (Aug. 31)," Amerman pointed out.

"We're a little concerned about the track being speed-biased (for the Santa Anita Derby), like it was for the San Felipe," Hofmans said. "That's a major concern."

This was the second work for Schoolofhardrocks since the San Felipe. The dark bay colt also drilled five furlongs in :59 1/5 March 22. Joe Talamo, who was aboard for the San Felipe, retains the mount.

Schoolofhardrocks is likely to face California Chrome once more in the Santa Anita Derby. Others under consideration are Bayern , Hoppertunity, Candy Boy, Dublin Up, Big Tire, Friendswith K Mill, Rprettyboyfloyd, and The Admiral.