Santa Anita Derby winner is 3 for 3 entering 2021 Kentucky Derby
After winning the Santa Anita Derby, Rock Your World became one of the favorites to win the 2021 Kentucky Derby. The John Sadler-trained Candy Ride colt is 3 for 3 after going unraced as a 2-year-old. His first two races were also on turf, so there were some questions to be answered when he entered the starting gate of the Santa Anita Derby.
Rock Your World answered them impressively with a wire-to-wire win by 4 1/4 lengths over heavy race favorite Medina Spirit. That victory secured his spot in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.
Rock Your World profile
Rock Your World won the Santa Anita Derby at 5-1 odds, and his morning line (ML) odds for the 2021 Kentucky Derby are also 5-1 as the second choice behind favorite Essential Quality (2-1) and just in front of Known Agenda (6-1). Rock Your World is owned by California powerhouse Hronis Racing in partnership with Talla Racing, who will watch their first horse run in the Kentucky Derby. Rock Your World was a $650,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2019.
Highly regarded jockey Umberto Rispoli rode Rock Your World to victory in the Santa Anita Derby, but Joel Rosario will ride him in the Kentucky Derby. Rosario has ridden nine Kentucky Derby runners and won aboard Orb in 2013.
Rock Your World was not on most people’s radar ahead of the Santa Anita Derby. He wasn’t even listed in Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW), and he closed at 31-1 in Pool 5 of the KDFW. William Hill did have him listed at +3500 on its Derby fixed odds April 1 and reduced him to +500 after he won the Santa Anita Derby.
Trainer John Sadler has been high on this versatile colt, who showed his speed and improvement at Santa Anita. His 100 Beyer Speed Figure in that race is the best of any horse in the 2021 Kentucky Derby field. Horses with grass form who have won the Kentucky Derby this century include Barbaro, impressively by 6 ½ lengths in 2006, and 20-1 longshot Animal Kingdom in 2011. Sadler has saddled four Kentucky Derby runners, and his best finish was sixth in 1993.
Rock Your World is based at Santa Anita and will try to become the 20th horse to win both the Santa Anita Derby and Kentucky Derby. Six more recent California-based runners over the past decade have won the Kentucky Derby — Authentic, Justify, Nyquist, American Pharoah, California Chrome and I’ll Have Another. Three others in the past decade have finished runner-up in the Run for the Roses — Exaggerator, Firing Line and Bodemeister.
Rock Your World ‘s pedigree profile is talented and deep. He’s bred top to bottom for the dirt and is a son of Candy Ride (ARG), who was 6 for 6 in his short career and won Grade 1 races on both dirt and grass. Candy Ride still holds the 1 ¼-mile track record at Del Mar, where he won the 2003 Pacific Classic on dirt. Candy Ride sired the great Gun Runner, who finished third in the 2016 Kentucky Derby and completed his 12-win career and nearly $16 million on-track earnings with five straight Grade 1 wins. Rock Your World will be a popular choice to win the 2021 Kentucky Derby and should continue to improve and mature throughout his 3-year-old campaign and through age 4.