In the days leading up to the 153rd running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on Saturday (June 5), usracing.com is profiling the contenders. The 1 1/2-mile race at Belmont Park is the final leg of the Triple Crown.
By Margaret Ransom
Rock Your World lost for the first time when finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 1 as the second betting choice in the 19-horse field. To be fair, the son of Candy Ride probably had the worst start of any of his rivals, getting off a step slow from post 15 and then being jostled around by Highly Motivated and Essential Quality.
“We got squeezed at the start and we were done,” trainer John Sadler said. “No chance.”
The Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner was returned to Sadler’s California base with the goal of heading East for the Belmont Stakes. He certainly has a pedigree that suggests the Belmont distance of 1 ½ miles is in his wheelhouse. He is a grandson of 2003 Belmont winner Empire Maker (out of his daughter, Charm the Maker). And Candy Ride won at 10 furlongs rather easily.
He’s had three impressive workouts in California since the Derby, including a bullet 5 furlongs in 58.40 on Friday (May 28). It was the fastest of 32 drills at the distance and quicker by almost three seconds than the average time of 1:01.28.
“It was a good work,” Sadler said. “We hope to right the ship in the Belmont.”
Rock Your World is owned by California powerhouse Hronis Racing in partnership with Talla Racing. He made his first main track start a winning one in the Santa Anita Derby after making his first two starts over the grass.
Sadler, despite tremendous success and more than 2,610 wins from nearly 12,800 staters, has never won the Belmont and has only had one previous starter – Dave In Dixie – who was 10th in 2010. Joel Rosario, who has two Belmont wins – Tonalist (2014) and Sir Winston (2019) – will be back aboard.
2021 Belmont Stakes Picks:Rock Your World
Post position: 7
Trainer: John Sadler
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Owner: Hronis Racing, LLC (Pete and Kosta Hronis) and Talla
Racing, LLC (Michael Talla)
Career record: 4-3-0-0
Career earnings: $546,600
Top Equibase speed figure: 103
Pedigree: Candy Ride-Charm the Marker, by Empire Maker
Color: Dark bay
Running style: Front-runner
Notes: This colt comes from a long line of horses bred and/or owned by Hall of Fame conditioner Ron McAnally and his wife, Debbie. His dam, Charm the Maker, was a stakes winner and multiple graded stakes-placed. His granddam and great granddam were also graded stakes winners and owned and bred by the McAnallys … First Belmont Stakes starter for the partnership of Hronis Racing and Talla Racing … Rock Your World was a $650,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2019, with Sapphire Stable signing the sales slip, the moniker representing a partnership of bloodstock agent David Ingordo and Sadler.