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.
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.
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.
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at BRISnet.com, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.
After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and HRTV.com in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.
She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.
In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on USRacing.com. The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”
Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.