Racing News

Schoolofhardrocks works for Santa Anita Derby

  • Schoolofhardrocks (Benoit Photos)

Schoolofhardrocks worked six furlongs over Santa Anita's fast main track Friday morning in 1:12 4/5 as the son of Rock Hard Ten prepares for the Grade 1, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 5.

"He worked great," said trainer David Hofmans, who witnessed the drill with owner John Amerman, who bred the colt along with his wife, Jerry.

Schoolofhardrocks was fourth in the San Felipe on March 8, 15 lengths behind victorious California Chrome.

"He hadn't run in more than six months, since breaking his maiden at Del Mar (on August 31)," Amerman pointed out.

"We're a little concerned about the track being speed-biased (for the Santa Anita Derby), like it was for the San Felipe," Hofmans said. "That's a major concern."

Joe Talamo, who was aboard for the San Felipe, retains the mount for the Derby.

Also possible for the West Coast's major steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby on May 3 are California Chrome, Bayern, Hoppertunity, Candy Boy, Dublin Up, Big Tire, Friendswith K Mill, Rprettyboyfloyd and The Admiral.

In other Santa Anita Derby news:

In an effort to safeguard the health and welfare of horses and riders, Santa Anita officials have announced they will provide round-the-clock surveillance of all horses entered in the Santa Anita Derby beginning 72 hours before the race. This security measure will be similar to that provided for 2013's Derby and for the 2013 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita.

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) will also have an increased security presence on the backside of Santa Anita for Derby Day. In addition to the usual CHRB enforcement personnel at Santa Anita, investigators and safety stewards are being brought in from Sacramento and Los Alamitos.

The added CHRB staffing will augment Santa Anita's stakes race security, allowing for broad stable area coverage for the Derby program, which also includes the Grade 1, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks and three other stakes on an 11-race card.

The CHRB also plans to conduct out-of-competition testing for horses nominated to the Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Oaks and Grade 3, $150,000 Providencia. These efforts are part of an expanded program providing out-of-competition testing for graded stakes races. Funding for the testing is made possible through a grant provided by The Jockey Club to The Stronach Group's Santa Anita track. The program will continue for graded stakes at Santa Anita the rest of 2014.

The Graded Stakes Out-of-Competition Testing Grant Fund was announced at the 2013 Jockey Club Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing in August, 2013. This program expands on the CHRB's regular out-of-competition policy.

Nearly $2 million in stakes purses will be offered on Santa Anita Derby Day. In addition, Santa Anita will have a $500,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 and present free Derby Day T-shirts with paid admission, while supplies last, and have more than 30 premium local food trucks throughout the infield.

The annual Santa Anita Derby Day 5K run will also take place, and the track's spacious infield will be rocking with popular local breweries and epic cover tunes from Super Diamond, in addition to live world-class horse racing.

Special packages are available at santaanita.com/events. Use promo code DERBY for 50 percent discounts.