Holy Candy, who would have been a gift to hunch players on Easter weekend, has been scratched from Saturday's Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.
Since the well-regarded son of Candy Ride had just broken his maiden 15 days ago, trainer John Sadler had been mulling whether to wheel him right back at Santa Anita, or await next Saturday's Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland. Sadler ultimately decided to point for that 1 1/8-mile race on Polytrack instead.
Holy Candy has raced once on synthetic, finishing a close second to Empire Way in his career debut over Hollywood Park's Cushion Track in November. Switching scene to Santa Anita, he chased Castaway in January, and was caught by Stirred Up on March 3, before finally earning his maiden win on March 23. Sadler immediately announced his intent to seek graded earnings in hopes of landing a Kentucky Derby berth.
Joel Rosario, who was aboard for his impressive 3 1/2-length tally, will have the Blue Grass mount, according to Daily Racing Form.
A Craig Stables homebred, Holy Candy is raced in partnership with Donkey Island Racing, a group including Alex Solis II and New Orleans Saints star quarterback Drew Brees.