(from Santa Anita)
El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Chocolate Candy was expected to arrive at Santa Anita on the afternoon of March 21 from the Bay Area to begin final preparations for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 4.
Expected to be the third choice behind Pioneerof the Nile and The Pamplemousse, Chocolate Candy has not raced since winning the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 14. The Santa Anita Derby would be his first race in more than six weeks.
Jerry Hollendorfer, one of only four trainers in history to achieve more than 5,000 career victories, said the relatively light schedule for the son of Candy Ride is by design.
“You have to be concerned about everything, but I didn’t want to dance every dance with this horse,” Hollendorfer said. “He should run very well fresh. We’re not going to worry about it. He’ll have one breeze here, and then a blowout.”
Chocolate Candy is owned by the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust and was bred by the Craigs, who campaigned his sire. He has had eight races, winning four, including a one-mile maiden race at Oak Tree last Oct. 4 under Joel Rosario, who has the mount in the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby.
Hollendorfer’s focus, understandably, is solely on Chocolate Candy and not marquee horses Pioneerof the Nile and The Pamplemousse.
“I don’t care which horses get the publicity,” Hollendorfer said.
In other Santa Anita Derby news, Feisty Suances, second by 1 1/4 lengths to Pioneerof the Nile as an 11-1 outsider in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) last March 14, will run in the Santa Anita Derby, said the colt’s owner, Jed Cohen, who races as Red Baron’s Barn. Cohen, who heads an investment advisory business based in the Los Angeles area, is in his 61st year in horse racing, more than 30 with trainer Darrell Vienna.