February 2, 2023

Rock Your World heads back to turf for Twilight Derby

Rock Your World
Rock Your World wins the Santa Anita Derby (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Twilight Derby (G2) — Race 10 (8:00 p.m. ET)

He won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) last spring and was expected to fare better than he did in two Triple Crown events, but Rock Your World‘s immediate future might lie on turf. On Sunday, the Candy Ride colt will return to a surface over which he’s undefeated in the $200,000 Twilight Derby (G2), the closing day feature of Santa Anita’s fall meet.

Rock Your World was well beaten in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Belmont S. (G1) following his dominating Santa Anita Derby performance, and has been only out once since. That was the Aug. 29 Shared Belief S. at Del Mar over a mile, in which he finished second to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)-bound Medina Spirit.

Before the Santa Anita Derby, though, the John Sadler trainee kicked off his career with back-to-back turf wins, first in a New Year’s Day maiden and then the Feb. 27 Pasadena S., in which he beat returning rival Cathkin Peak by 2 1/4 lengths. Rock Your World will race with blinkers for the first time in the Twilight Derby.

None Above the Law pulled off a 10-1 shocker of the Del Mar Derby (G2) over Flashiest, another longshot, but both La Jolla H. (G3) winner Zoffarelli and beaten favorite Hudson Ridge lacked running room in the stretch run of that nine-furlong fixture and could rebound with a better trip.

The 1 1/8-mile Twilight Derby, the last of 10 races on the card, has also attracted Subconscious, who enters off an impressive first-level allowance score at Del Mar for Richard Mandella. Subconscious finished up fast in the one-mile heat, winning by 1 1/4 lengths in a wicked time of 1:32.

The lone non California-based entrant in the Twilight Derby line up is Wootton Asset, last-out winner of the Virginia Derby (G3) at Colonial Downs for trainer Graham Motion.