ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2012)—An ebullient trainer John Sadler declared his 3-year-old Candy Ride colt, Holy Candy, fit for passage on the Kentucky Derby trail Friday, following his impressive maiden special weight score going a flat mile in Santa Anita’s fourth race. Holy Candy rallied from off the pace to get the mile in 1:35.98. Sadler said the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, to be run April 7, is under consideration.

“We’ve thought all along he was our best 3-year-old and it was nice to see him finish and gallop out the way he did today,” said Sadler. “In his last couple of races, things have kind of worked against us. We caught a sealed track a couple races back and we’ve just felt that he needs to be able to make a quarter mile run.”

Bred by the Craig Family Trust in Kentucky and owned by Craig Stables and Donkey Island Racing LLC, Holy Candy finished second as the favorite in his first three starts, most recently on March 3 at a mile and a sixteenth.

Off as the heavy favorite at 1-2, he was ridden for the first time today by Joel Rosario, who was able to sit well off fractions of 24.69, 48.64, 1:11.91 and 1:23.73.

“We’ll look at some graded stakes, including the Santa Anita Derby,” said Sadler. “We’re definitely thinking about getting the (graded) earnings he’d need to run in the Kentucky Derby.”

Although he raced a bit greenly the final eighth of a mile, Holy Candy blew by Eaton Hall and Martin Garcia to win going away by 3 ½ lengths and galloped out strongly around the Club House turn.

Holy Candy paid $3.00, $2.10 and $2.10. Seal the Deal finished 1 ¾ lengths behind Eaton Hall and 5-1 second choice Stratify was another 1 ¾ lengths back in fourth.

The co-ownership of Donkey Island Racing LLC is managed by Alex Solis Jr. and is comprised of New Orleans Saints All Pro quarterback Drew Brees and others.