05/08/2009 12:00AM

Chocolate Candy awaits Belmont

Barbara D. Livingston
Chocolate Candy, fifth in the Kentucky Derby, is scheduled to work on Monday.

ELMONT, N.Y. - While seven of the 19 horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby are being pointed to next Saturday's Preakness Stakes, one Derby also-ran is already looking ahead to the $1 million Belmont Stakes on June 6.

Chocolate Candy, who finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby, arrived at Belmont Park earlier in the week and is bedded down in Barn 20 along with two other horses trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.

Though Hollendorfer said Chocolate Candy came out of the Derby in good order, he didn't consider running back in the Preakness because he didn't want to run in all three Triple Crown races.

"He came out of it real well; we're pleased he came out of it soundly,'' Hollendorfer said by phone Friday from California. "Mike [Smith] told me he didn't handle that track that well but I hate to say that because that's making an excuse. Everybody had to handle the same track. We did get squeezed a little at the start; that caused us to be back a little further than we wanted.''

Because of the unique 1 1/2-mile configuration of Belmont Park, Hollendorfer opted to ship Chocolate Candy from Kentucky to New York early rather than take him back to California.

"I've run a little bit at Belmont and it's a little different type of track,'' Hollendorfer said. "I'd rather get him a little more used to it as opposed to shipping in on top of the race.''

Hollendorfer said he would come to New York over the weekend to supervise a scheduled Monday workout for Chocolate Candy.

In addition to Chocolate Candy, Hollendorfer brought the 3-year-old colt Rendezvous and the 3-year-old filly Pretty Katherine to New York. Rendezvous, a 3-year-old son of Victory Gallop, finished fourth to Hull in the Grade 3 Derby Trial in his last start. Hollendorfer said he wasn't sure what race Rendezvous would run next, but said the Belmont was unlikely.

Pretty Katherine, a Canadian-bred 3-year-old, finished sixth in the restricted Fury Stakes at Woodbine last Sunday. Hollendorfer is also unsure what might be next for her.

Quality Road doubtful for Belmont

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens said last week that everything would have to go perfectly for Quality Road to make the Belmont Stakes. It doesn't appear that is going to happen.

Jerkens said Friday that Quality Road was sore in his right front foot after training for three days, and has simply walked the shed since Wednesday. Jerkens said that an abscess, or pus pocket, popped out of the bulb of the colt's right front heel on Friday "to the inside of where the quarter crack is.''

Jerkens said that prior to the abscess popping, Quality Road had his shoes pulled to try and alleviate any soreness in his foot. Jerkens said the horse is getting treated with antibiotics.

Jerkens said Quality Road would not return to the track until next week and not until he gets new shoes and possibly a new patch on the quarter crack.

European colt is coming

Gitano Hernando, a 3-year-old son of Hernando owned by Team Valor International, will be coming for the Belmont Stakes after finishing second, beaten a head, in Friday's Groupo3 Dee Stakes at Chester Race Course in England.

Gitano Hernando has a record of 2-2-0 from 5 starts. He will run for trainer Marco Botti in the Belmont Stakes, but after the Belmont will be turned over to trainer Christophe Clement, said Barry Irwin, head of Team Valor.

Frank Martin wants more horses

Hall of Fame trainer Frank Martin, 83, announced earlier this week that he is opening up a public stable in an attempt to get more horses. Currently, Martin has 15 head in his barn, primarily for Flying Zee Stable or Team Jomar Stable.

"I want to train for anybody that wants to give me horses,'' said Martin, who trained Eclipse Award winners Autobiography and Outstandingly.

Belmont Stakes has a website

The New York Racing Association on Friday launched BelmontStakes.com, a website dedicated to the third leg of the Triple Crown. This year's Belmont is scheduled for June 6.

The website, designed by AmericanEagle.com, offers a variety of content, including blogs, videos, podcasts, photo galleries, and news. Fans who visit the website may sign up for the Belmont Stakes prize package, which offers a chance to win tickets, hotel and airfare to this year's Belmont.

Dry Martini wins Three Coins Up

Edgar Prado guided Dry Martini ($3.50) through the inside turning for home and the 6-year-old gelding raced to a three-quarter-length victory in Friday's $66,050 Three Coins Up Stakes. Rising Moon, who dueled with Even Raise through six furlongs in 1:12.02, finished second by 6 1/2 lengths.

The Three Coins Up, originally scheduled for 1 1/4 miles on turf, was moved to the main track and run at 1 1/8 miles. Dry Martini, a multiple graded stakes winner, ran the distance in 1:48.66.

The race scratched down to a field of three, one of two races on the card that went with three horses. Friday's card had 36 scratches and only 45 runners.

Rushton leaving NYRA

Jan Rushton, the paddock analyst and part-time television host for the New York Racing Association for 14 years, has resigned her position to tend to an ailing family member.

Rushton has been on leave from NYRA since the end of January to be with her family in South Carolina. Rushton's brother, Doug, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease.

"I would like to thank all the fans, horsemen and fellow NYRA workers for all their support through my years in racing, but I have to resign my position to be caretaker for my brother, who has a serious illness,'' Rushton, who began working for NYRA in 1991, said in a press release. "This has been a hard decision, but I feel that family must come first.''

* When Nicksappealinglady ($30) won Friday's seventh race, it broke an 0-for-32 start to the Belmont meet for trainer Gary Contessa.