Amerman Racing Stable’s Schoolofhardrocks made a favorable impression on pre-race card paddock dwellers when schooling Friday afternoon at Arlington International Racecourse in preparation for his participation in Saturday’s Grade III $200,000 American Derby. The Kentucky homebred son of Rock Hard Ten has the imposing height of his sire, but with an emblazoned face like that of his great grandsire Roberto. He seemed to take everything in literal stride with no indication that the trip from his California base had detracted from his energy level.
Once on the Triple Crown trail, including a fourth and fifth behind Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor California Chrome in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes and Grade I Santa Anita Derby, respectively, Schoolofhardrocks moved up significantly in his first grass attempt last out on May 31 at Santa Anita. Winning by 4 1/4 lengths in the allowance, the victory earned him a 104 Equibase Speed Figure and 93 Beyer Speed Figure - the highest last-race figures of any sophomore entering the American Derby. Victor Espinoza, who was aboard when the colt broke his maiden at Del Mar last summer, also ships in from the Golden State and breaks from post four.