Clocker Young has (RUN)HAPPY view of Kentucky Derby

April 30, 2021

Rock Your World T-shirts benefit CARMA

ARCADIA, Calif.—Rock Your World and Medina Spirit, first and second in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 3, could keep California Dreamin’ alive should either win the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

They would become one of 20 horses that have run in the West Coast’s major steppingstone to the Run for the Roses and gone on to capture the world’s most famous race.

Santa Anita-based private clocker Gary Young likes their chances.

Young, 59, has been a clocker since he was 18 but also has been a bloodstock agent for more than three decades. His best buy to date was 1993 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champion Brocco, who raced for Albert and Dana Broccoli, producers of the iconic James Bond movies.

That purchase might be relegated to second should Medina Spirit win tomorrow, since it was Young who recommended that owner Amr Zedan buy the Florida-bred son of the Giant’s Causeway stallion Protonico as a two-year-old in training at last year’s Ocala Breeders’ Sale for the bargain price of $35,000

Never worse than second in five races, Medina Spirit already has earned more than nine times what he cost, exactly $315,200.

“There are some nice horses in the race,” Young said from Kentucky.  “But the horse I fear most is Rock Your World, the horse that beat us in the Santa Anita Derby.

“When I saw the video of his work the other day (five furlongs in 59.20 at Santa Anita on April 24), it was like, ‘Well, now I know who I have to beat.’ He was very, very good in that work. He’s second choice (at 5-1 on the morning line), and no disrespect to (undefeated two-year-old champion and 2-1 morning line favorite) Essential Quality, but for me, Rock Your World is probably the horse to beat.

“I think we could be one-two, I really do. Medina could be sitting second to Rock Your World. Medina wasn’t sent at all (in the Santa Anita Derby) and he was only a couple lengths behind (until the finish, where he was a willing second, 4 ¼ lengths back).

Rock Your World is unbeaten in his three races (the first two on turf), leading almost throughout in each, which Young feels could serve as a disadvantage in a bulky 20-horse field.

“He’s never had dirt in his face in the afternoons, and providing he breaks, I don’t think they want this to be the first race he experiences that,” said Young, adding that “Hot Rod Charlie is no bum, either” alluding to the Louisiana Derby winner trained by Doug O’Neill, who is seeking his third Kentucky Derby victory.

“It seems like we say it every year,” Young noted, “but for a place that’s (struggled of late), California does awfully well in the Triple Crown races, and I think it’s positioned to do the same thing this year, too.”

Saturday’s Louisville weather forecast for the 14-race program that calls for a high of 76 degrees, mostly sunny skies, and a three percent chance of rain.

Rock Your World’s Sister Runs Sunday

Santa Anita morning line oddsmaker Jon White points out that She’s Our Charm, a full sister to Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World, runs in Sunday’s seventh race at Santa Anita, a $65,000 second condition allowance at one mile on turf.

Ron McAnally, Hall of Fame trainer of two-time Horse of the Year John Henry, conditions She’s Our Charm, who along with Rock Your World is by Candy Ride and is out of the Empire Maker mare Charm the Maker.   

She’s Our Charm has won three of 11 career starts.

Rock Your World T-shirts benefit CARMA

Rock Your World T-shirts will be on sale for $20 at Santa Anita tomorrow in celebration of the colt’s victory in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 3.

They will be available outside Champions Gift Shop near the East Paddock Gardens while supplies last.

Net profits will benefit CARMA (California Retirement Management Account), a charitable organization dedicated to providing funding for the rehabilitation, retraining and/or retirement of California-raced Thoroughbred horses.

Santa Anita Press Release

Photo: Gary Young, (Benoit)

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