Joel Rosario, Santa Anita’s third-leading rider, will ride El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) winner Chocolate Candy in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 4, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.
Rosario rode Chocolate Candy to his maiden victory at Santa Anita last October, but perennial Bay Area champion Russell Baze had ridden the son of Candy Ride in his last two starts, victories in the California Derby and the El Camino.
“My connections prefer to use riders who are familiar with the course,” Hollendorfer explained. “That’s why we use Russell up here and will use Rosario in the Santa Anita Derby.”
Chocolate Candy, owned by the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust, worked one mile on Golden Gate’s Tapeta surface in 1:41.20 on March 19.
“The work was very nice, although the track was kind of dead up here this morning,” Hollendorfer said. “He was very steady all the way around.”
In other Santa Anita Derby news, Mike McCarthy, assistant to Todd Pletcher, said Take the Points will run in either the Santa Anita Derby or the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland on April 11.
San Felipe stakes winner Pioneerof the Nile jogged on Santa Anita’s Pro-Ride March 19. “He looked great,” trainer Bob Baffert said.
Corey Nakatani will ride Mr. Hot Stuff for Eoin Harty, while regular rider Alex Solis has the mount on Sham Stakes (gr. III) winner The Pamplemousse for trainer Julio Canani.
“Everything is under control,” said Canani when asked how The Pamplemousse came out of his five-furlong work in :59.80 on March 18.