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Apr 04, 2014

California Chrome and Candy Boy to meet in 77th Santa Anita Derby

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - California Chrome and Candy Boy, the two leading 3-year-olds on the West Coast, head a field of eight for Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Derby.

The 1 1/8-mile race offers a total of 170 points in the Kentucky Derby points system in determining the 20-horse field for the Run for the Roses on May 3, 100 points goes to the winning 3-year-old.

California Chrome and Candy Boy will break from the starting gate next to each other. With Victor Espinoza riding, California Chrome will start from post 5 and Candy Boy, ridden by Gary Stevens, will leave from post 6.

Santa Anita oddsmaker Jon White has California Chrome as the 6-5 morning line favorite with Candy Boy the 9-5 second pick.

Owned by Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, California Chrome is coming off a victory in the San Felipe Stakes in which he notched his third straight win and collected $180,000. The chestnut colt has won five of nine career starts for $534,850.

"When this colt breaks and runs, he's just like he's pushbutton. He changes his lead so fast, unless you're looking for it, you'll never see it. Then he's got a beautiful long stride on him. He's very well balanced," Coburn said. "Since we've changed jockeys to Victor Espinoza, those two have connected quite well. Victor talks to him when he rides him and the horse listens."

Trained by Art Sherman, California Chrome had a 5 1/2-length victory in the California Cup Derby at Santa Anita on Jan. 25. The colt won the King Glorious Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths in Hollywood Park's final stakes on Nov. 22.

Candy Boy, trained by John Sadler for C R K Stable, has just the one start this year, his victory on Feb. 8 of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. The colt in his first start of the year added $120,000 to his bankroll. He's earned $305,600 with two wins and two seconds in six lifetime starts.

The 3-year-old was second in a maiden race at Santa Anita in October, but found the winner's circle the following month at Hollywood Park in his fourth start. Candy Boy was second to Shared Belief in the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 14.

Also coming into the Santa Anita Derby off a win is Rebel Stakes champ Hoppertunity. The gelding, trained by Bob Baffert, will start from post 3 with Mike Smith in the saddle. The 3-year-old is the 3-1 third choice in the eight- horse field.

Hoppertunity, owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, picked up his first stakes victory in the Rebel in just his fourth career start, all this year. The colt has banked $410,720 overall.

The son of Any Given Saturday was fourth in the Risen Star Stakes, ridden by Martin Garcia, on Feb. 22 at Fair Grounds. He was ridden by Smith for the first time in the Rebel.

Here is the field from the rail out: Rprettyboyfloyd, Rafael Bejarano; Friendswith K Mill, Tyler Baze; Hoppertunity, Mike Smith; Big Tire, Edwin Maldonado; California Chrome, Victor Espinoza; Candy Boy, Gary Stevens; Schoolofhardrocks, Joe Talamo and Dublin Up. Kent Desormeaux.

The Santa Anita Derby will have an approximate post time of 6:30 p.m. ET.



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