Santa Anita Derby hopefuls out in force

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TwinSpires Staff

April 3rd, 2016

Edited Press Release

Several of the West Coast’s leading Triple Crown aspirants got in their final major licks on a summer-like Saturday morning for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 9.

San Felipe (G2) winner Danzing Candy worked five furlongs under regular rider Mike Smith in company outside of Miraglo. Each was clocked in 1:00.60.

“Perfect,” is how trainer Cliff Sise Jr. termed the move by the speedy Danzing Candy. “Even though it looks like a small field for the Santa Anita Derby, post positions will be important, especially with the speed in there now.

“We don’t have to be in front, but I’ll pretty much leave it up to Mike. I’m sure if the other speed (Iron Rob) knows that if I draw inside, I’m going to go, and he’ll sit off of us.

“If he draws inside of me, it will be vice-versa.”

Santa Anita clockers gave Danzing Candy fractional times of :24, :36.40 and :48.40, with a gallop-out time of 1:14 for six furlongs.

Exaggerator, second to unbeaten champion Nyquist in the February 15 San Vicente (G2) and third behind Danzing Candy in the March 12 San Felipe, worked five furlongs for trainer Keith Desormeaux on Saturday with Kent Desormeaux aboard in 1:02.80.

Exaggerator’s fractions were :25 and :50.80.

“It was a little slower than he’s used to going,” Keith said, “but Kent said he was well in hand and galloped out strong.”

Also working for the Santa Anita Derby was last-out San Pedro S. front-running victor Iron Rob, who clocked six furlongs in 1:14.40 for trainer George Papaprodromou.

California-bred multiple stakes hero Smokey Image turned six furlongs in 1:13.40 for conditioner Carla Gaines while Grade 3 runner-up Uncle Lino posted five panels in 1:02.40 for horseman Gary Sherlock.

Smokey Image had splits of :13.40, :36.60 and :48.80. Uncle Lino went a half in :50.40.

Danzing Candy photo courtesy of Benoit Photos