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Stevens Chases Tenth SA Derby Win

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens hopes to add to his record of nine Santa Anita Derby victories when he rides 9-5 morning line second choice Candy Boy in Saturday’s much-anticipated Grade I, $1 million race that awards 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner.

Stevens was happy when he learned that Candy Boy drew post position six, and Fashion Plate, his mount in the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks earlier on the card, will break from the rail in the mile-and-one-sixteenth race.

“Craig (agent Craig O’Bryan) sent me a text saying I drew the six of eight in the Derby and the one in the Oaks,” Stevens said. “I sent him back a thumbs up and a smiley face.

“I’m real pleased with my draw. I drew the one hole with Candy Boy in the Lewis, and it was OK. The trip turned out good (winning by a half-length), but this gives me more options.

“Obviously, California Chrome has more speed than I do, but I’ll know where he’s at. I was going to know where he’s at anyway, but I like where I’ve drawn.”

Added Candy Boy’s trainer, John Sadler: “It’s a good draw (post position No. 6). Going a mile and an eighth, I don’t think the draw’s that important for anybody. There’s plenty of run to the first turn and it’s a small field, so we’re very happy with the draw.

“We’re very excited. We should have a good crowd.”

The field for the Derby, race eight of 11: Rprettyboyfloyd, Rafael Bejarano, 20-1, Friendswith K Mill, Tyler Baze, 20-1; Hoppertunity, Mike Smith, 3-1; Big Tire, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; California Chrome, Victor Espinoza, 6-5; Candy Boy, Gary Stevens, 9-5; Schoolofhardrocks, Joe Talamo, 10-1; and Dublin Up, Kent Desormeaux, 30-1.



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