First post time for 10 races at 12:30 p.m., mandatory payout in 20 Cent Rainbow Six
ARCADIA, Calif.—Grade I Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World will return to turf as he figures prominently in a very competitive field of 11 sophomores going a mile and one eighth in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita. Sunday is closing day of the track’s 16-day Autumn Meet and there will be mandatory payouts in all exotic wagers, including the popular 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot, which if there is no single ticket winner on Saturday, could produce a total pool that could reach $5 million. Special early first post time is at 12:30 p.m.
Trained by John Sadler, Rock Your World, who won his first two starts on grass here last winter, transitioned to the main track for the first time in his third start, the Santa Anita Derby on April 3 and he responded with a resounding 4 ¼ length win over eventual Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.
From there, it was downhill, as Rock Your World was distanced in the Run for the Roses May 1, finishing 17th, beaten 24 ¼ lengths and was then run off his feet in the Belmont Stakes, finishing 22 lengths behind Essential Quality while running sixth. Freshened by Sadler, Rock Your World, who was bred by Hall of Fame conditioner Ron McAnally and his wife Debbie, came back to run a big second, beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Medina Spirit in the one-mile Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar Aug. 29 when reunited with Umberto Rispoli, who hadn’t ridden him since victorious in the Santa Anita Derby.
Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC and Talla Racing, LLC, Rock Your World is by Candy Ride out of the Empire Maker mare Charm the Maker. A winner while forwardly placed of the one-mile turf Pasadena Stakes in his second start on Feb. 27, Rock Your World sat a close third early to the top of the lane and kicked on nicely through the lane under Rispoli in an effort that suggests he does not need the lead in his return to grass on Sunday. The leading money earner in the field with $611,600, Rock Your World has three wins and a second from six starts.
Under a picture-perfect ride from Joe Bravo, California-bred None Above the Law saved ground, idled patiently around the far turn and kicked through at the rail to take a roughly run Grade II Del Mar Derby at a mile and one eighth on turf Sept. 4. Second, beaten a neck over the course here at Santa Anita in the mile and one eighth Snow Chief Stakes four starts back on June 19, this gelding by Karakontie has shown ample versatility and gameness over 14 starts for Peter Miller, posting a 6-2-1 record.
Owned by Downstream Racing, LLC, None Above the Law has won four stakes over three different surfaces, two at Del Mar and a pair at Golden Gate Fields and he has earnings of $454,060.
Trainer Jeff Mullins’ Irish-bred Zoffarelli, fresh off a couple of rough trips on turf at Del Mar, needs only clear sailing to have huge chance in the Twilight Derby. Second, beaten a nose going a mile and one sixteenth in his U.S. debut in the Grade III La Jolla Handicap Aug. 8, he was “pinballed late” in a huge effort. Subsequently sixth, beaten two lengths by None Above the Law after lacking room in a field of 13, Zoffarelli looms large indeed with Drayden Van Dyke riding back.
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal, Zoffarelli has a 9-2-5-0 mark with earnings of $110,825.
Third, beaten a head as the 8-5 favorite by Zoffarelli two starts back in the Grade III La Jolla, Bob Baffert’s Hudson Ridge was a much troubled ninth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths, as the 9-5 favorite in the Del Mar Derby when ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat. Severely pinched at the rail in the run out of the mile and one eighth chute at Del Mar, Hudson Ridge became rank and then had nowhere to go a furlong from home.
A winner of the ungraded Cinema Stakes at a mile and one eighth on turf four starts back here on May 23, Hudson Ridge will hope for clear sailing on Sunday with Prat back aboard. A bay colt by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of the Galileo mare Shell House, Hudson Ridge is owned by Double L Racing and Natalie J. Baffert. With two wins and as many seconds from eight starts, he has earnings of $143,440.
A pair of recent turf allowance winners, the John Shirreffs-trained Beyond Brilliant, an impressive gate to wire winner going a mile and one sixteenth at Del Mar Sept. 6 and Richard Mandella’s Subconscious, who although he stayed on his left lead through the lane, kicked nicely for home to win by 1 ¼ lengths going a flat mile on Oct. 2, are both up and comers who figure to stay out of trouble.
The Grade II Twilight Derby with jockeys & weights in post position order
Race 10 of 10, Approximate post time 4:45 p.m. PT
1. Flashiest—Abel Cedillo—124
2. Subconscious—Juan Hernandez—124
3. Zoffarelli—Drayden Van Dyke—124
4. Hudson Ridge—Flavien Prat—124
5. None Above the Law—Joe Bravo—124
6. Wooton Asset—Mike Smith- 124
7. Cathkin Peak—Jose Valdivia, Jr.—124
8. Rock Your World—Umberto Rispoli—124
9. Jungle Cry—Kyle Frey—124
10. Beyond Brilliant—Kent Desormeaux—124
Sunday’s 20 cent Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot will be comprised of races five through 10. With a mandatory payout and the possibility of a total Rainbow Six pool of $5 million, approximate post time for Sunday’s fifth race is 2:30 p.m. PT.
Special early first post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE.
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Office
Photo: Rock Your World winning the 2021 edition of the Santa Anita Derby. (Photo Benoit Photos)