Holy Candy, having raced only four times, winning once, was a surprise late-entry Wednesday in Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, a race that has produced 15 Kentucky Derby winners.
Holy Candy is owned by breeder Craig Stables, which is headed by Jenny Craig of weight-loss fame, and Donkey Island Racing, a group that is managed by Alex Solis Jr. and includes Brees.
Solis said Wednesday that even though Holy Candy is now entered in Saturday’s Grade I race at Santa Anita, trainer John Sadler still might opt to instead race the horse in the $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., on April 14.
“Knowing John, he may wait until Friday before making a decision,” Solis said.
Holy Candy, who is now stabled at Hollywood Park, finished a close second in his first three races before winning the fourth race at Santa Anita on March 23, in impressive fashion.
He was the favorite in all four of his races.
Solis said Brees was brought into the ownership group by Jeff and Bill Strauss, owners of the Pamplemousse Grille, a popular racing hangout adjacent to Del Mar. Jeff Strauss is also the head chef. The brothers became friends of Brees when he played for the San Diego Chargers. Solis, without being specific, said Brees’ stake in the horse is very small.
Although Holy Candy is lightly raced, Santa Anita oddsmaker Jon White made him an 8-1 choice in the Santa Anita Derby. At Wednesday’s draw for the race, Holy Candy got post position No. 3.
Creative Cause, the expected favorite in Saturday’s race, drew post position No. 1 and was assigned odds of 6-5. I’ll Have Another will start from the No. 4 slot at 5-2.
Liason also is listed as 8-1. No other entry is better than 10-1.