Racing News

Holy Candy, co-owned by Drew Brees, joins Derby trail

Triple Crown nominee Holy Candy entered Friday's 4TH race at Santa Anita as arguably the best thrice-raced maiden in North America, and the John Sadler colt finally shed that status with a 3 1/2-length decision. Runner-up to the likes of Empire Way, Castaway and Stirred Up as the favorite in his three career starts, the 1-2 shot is now cleared to pursue the Kentucky Derby.

Holy Candy is owned by breeder Craig Stables in partnership with Donkey Island Racing, a group which is managed by Alex Solis Jr. and comprises New Orleans Saints All Pro quarterback Drew Brees and others.

"We've thought all along he was our best three-year-old," Sadler said, "and it was nice to see him finish and gallop out the way he did today.

"In his last couple of races, things have kind of worked against us. We caught a sealed track a couple races back, and we've just felt that he needs to be able to make a quarter-mile run.

"We'll look at some graded stakes, including the Santa Anita Derby (Grade 1 on April 7)," Sadler said. "We're definitely thinking about getting the (graded) earnings he'd need to run in the Kentucky Derby." 

On Friday, Holy Candy raced off the pace set by Eaton Hall through fractions of :24 3/5 and :48 3/5, and was as far as six lengths back at the six-furlong mark in 1:11 4/5. Although on the move turning for home, he was still three lengths adrift of the free-wheeling front runner in midstretch.

But inside the final furlong, Holy Candy kicked into gear for new rider Joel Rosario and surged past Eaton Hall. Despite lugging in greenly, he pulled away to complete the mile in 1:35 4/5 on the fast track. The popular winner, who continued to gallop out robustly, returned $3, $2.10 and $2.10.

Holy Candy has now bankrolled $65,000 from his 4-1-3-0 line. In his November 13 debut at Hollywood Park, the gray missed by just a half-length to Empire Way, the eventual second-place finisher in the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes.

The son of Candy Ride reappeared in a January 21 maiden at Santa Anita, where he couldn't catch a loose-on-the-lead Castaway, the subsequent winner of the first division of the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes for Bob Baffert. Last time out on March 3, Holy Candy was run down by Baffert's Stirred Up, but fought back to go down by just a neck. Stirred Up could earn his way into the Kentucky Derby in Sunday's Grade 3 Sunland Derby.

Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

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