Top West Coast Derby Contenders Arrive

Top West Coast Derby Contenders Arrive
Photo: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer
Chocolate Candy was part of the California contigent that arrived at Churchill Downs on April 16.

(Edited release from Churchill Downs)

California stars Pioneerof the Nile   and Chocolate Candy, the first two finishers in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 4, arrived at Churchill Downs April 16 to prepare for the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Zayat Stables' Pioneerof the Nile and the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy arrived in Louisville following a flight from Southern California. The two horses made the short journey form Louisville International Airport to Churchill Downs in separate vans and arrived at approximately 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Pioneerof the Nile, who is bidding to give trainer Bob Baffert his fourth Kentucky Derby victory, is stabled in Barn 33. Chocolate Candy, who is stabled in Barn 42, is trained by Northern California legend Jerry Hollendorfer, who is looking for his first victory in the Run for the Roses.

The Santa Anita Derby victory for Pioneerof the Nile was his fourth straight grade I or II stakes win, and the son of 2003 Kentucky Derby runner-up Empire Maker brings a career record of 5-0-1 in eight races and earnings of $1,234,200.

Chocolate Candy, a homebred son of Candy Ride   and winner of the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III), has a record of 4-2-1 in nine races and earnings of $532,500.

Neither Baffert nor Hollendorfer accompanied their horses to Churchill Downs. Baffert is scheduled to arrive in Louisville April 17 and will be at the barn the following day.

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