The Pamplemousse, with his regular rider Alex Solis aboard, turned in a sharp final tune-up March 31 for the April 4 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). The 3-year-old son of Kafwain worked three furlongs in :34.80 seconds at Santa Anita Park in California. He was the fastest of 15 workers at that distance.
Owned by a partnership that includes Solis’ son, Alex Solis II, The Pamplemousse has won the San Rafael (gr. III) and Sham (gr. III) Stakes this year. Julio Canani trains the colt.
Two other leading Santa Anita Derby contenders, Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s homebred Chocolate Candy and Zayat Stables’ homebred Pioneerof the Nile , also breezed March 31 at Santa Anita. Pioneerof the Nile ranked second among the 17 workers at a half-mile, covering the distance in :47.60. Chocolate Candy’s half-mile time was :48.60.
Pioneerof the Nile, trained by Bob Baffert, has captured the Robert B. Lewis (gr. II) and San Felipe (gr. II) Stakes this year after winning the 2008 Cashcall Futurity (gr. I). Chocolate Candy, who was third in the CashCall Futurity, has scored in this year’s El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) and California Derby while being trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.
Chris and Diane Randall’s Gallant Son, winner of the Pasadena Stakes on turf this year at Santa Anita, also worked a half-mile March 31. He was clocked in :49.20.