Danzing Candy and Mor Spirit, the 1-2 finishers from the March 12 San Felipe (G2), are top contenders Saturday’s $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1). The San Felipe rates as one of the strongest preps so far and both horses can continue to enhance their Kentucky Derby (G1) credentials.
The 1 1/8-mile race will awards points on a 100-40-20-10 scale toward a berth in the May 7 Run for the Roses.
Danzing Candy led wire to wire recording a two-length decision in the San Felipe, his stakes debut, and the Cliff Sise Jr.-trained colt figures to show high speed once again with jockey Mike Smith. He’s listed as the 9-5 second choice on the morning line.
Mor Spirit, who shipped to Churchill Down to finish an excellent second in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in late November after breaking his maiden, owns stakes victories in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) and Robert Lewis (G3), and the Bob Baffert-trained ridlging exits a rallying second in the San Felipe. Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Gary Stevens has the mount on the early 8-5 choice.
Exaggerator entered the season as a dangerous Kentucky Derby contender and is eligible to show more after weakening to third in the San Felipe. Conditioned by Keith Desormeaux, the classy colt will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux, a three-time Kentucky Derby victor.
Uncle Lino and Smokey Image, the fourth- and fifth-placers in the San Felipe, will also return for the Santa Anita Derby. Iron Rob and Denman’s Call, 1-2 finishers in the recent 6-furlong San Pedro, are new faces in the 10-horse field.
Danzing Candy photo courtesy of Benoit Photo