Odds-on favorite Chocolate Candy split horses as the field straightened away, struck the front nearing the eighth-pole and drew clear to post a 1 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 California Derby Jan. 17 at Golden Gate Fields.
With Russell Baze in the irons, Chocolate Candy completed 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta surface in 1:43.98 and earned his third win in his last four starts to emerge as one of the top West Coast 3-year-olds. The son of Candy Ride is owned Sid and Jenny Craig, and is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.
Chocolate Candy will likely stay at Golden Gate for the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) on Feb. 14. A run at the Santa Anita could be after that.
Kent Bloodstock’s Axel Foley finished second in the California Derby under Alonso Quinonez, 2 1/2 lengths in front of West Point Thoroughbreds’ Merus Miami.
Chocolate Candy entered the race off a third-place finish in the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) at Hollywood Park. Prior to that he won the Real Quiet Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths.
Bred in Kentucky by his owners, Chocolate Candy is out of the Seattle Slew mare Crownette. He is now 3-1-1 from seven starts with earnings of $262,500.
The winner paid $3.80, $3.20 and $2.20. The exacta brought back $24.60.
Feisty Suances finished fourth, followed by Gallant Son, Adriatic Moon and Revoluta.