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HRN Original Blog:
Dueling Down The Stretch

He Leaves Our Heads Spinning

Enigma…the word means to be of puzzling or contradictory character. That word is the only one needed to describe Twirling Candy. He is brilliant one moment, dazzling us with his amount of raw, god-given talent. Then in the next instant he goes and blows an entire race by balking, bearing out, or getting so rank that he loses all shot at winning. He has so much talent, talent that can make a horse great, but lacks the focus to channel that talent into greatness.

Over his career Twirling Candy has shown us his ability on countless occasions. One effort was the Malibu Stakes where he defeated Smiling Tiger in a final time of 1.19.7, smashing the course record. In the Del Mar Derby Twirling Candy showed his brilliance and his unpredictability. On the backstretch he bore out sharply for no apparent reason, interfering with Summer Movie, and was lucky to not be disqualified. However, around the far turn and through the stretch the brilliant son of Candy Ride strutted his stuff, running straight as an arrow, to win by open lengths.
 

[Will Twirling Candy rebound in the Californian, and move up on the HRN Power Rankings?]

 

In 2011, Twirling Candy started off his season with a scintillating performance in the Strub Stakes. Off of that performance, he became the favorite for his next start, the Santa Anita Handicap. The race was his for the taking, nobody in the field looked like they would be able to managed to match strides with the powerful colt at his best, but Twirling Candy, yet again showed us why nothing in thoroughbred racing is a lock. At the head of the stretch, Twirling Candy looked strong in between Setsuko and Game On Dude, but overreacted badly when Game on Dude shifted outwards, brushing him. Twirling Candy veered sharply, ramming inot Setsuko, then proceeded to bounce around between both Game on Dude and Setsuko before dropping back to finish a well beaten fifth.


In this weekend’s Californian Stakes, Twirling Candy looks for redemption, where he will face Setsuko, who will likely be looking for revenge upon the horse who may have cost him the Santa Anita Handicap. If Twirling Candy can smooth out the kinks and quirks he will once again win by a widening margin. If not then it will likely be Setsuko who will be waiting in the wings to take advantage of the favorite's shortcomings. Can Twirling Candy keep his focus or will his antics be his undoing once again?

 

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Older Comments about He Leaves Our Heads Spinning...

I think he rebounds as well. The sharp take back in the SAH may have been a combo of just having nothing left after playing pinball and intimidation. It's hard to say who was the true cause of all of that. GOD did shift out and brushed him, TC way overreacted. He should do much better this time out.
Twirling Candy should win this easy if he runs his race this time. It looked like he got intimidated and dropped back in the SA Handicap with all the bumping going on.
I am expecting a total rebound for Candy, resulting in an easy win ... anything less would be a disappointment.

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Meet Laura Pugh


Laura Pugh got her first taste of Thoroughbred Racing when she watched War Emblem take the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2001. After that point, she fell in love with the sport, reading every piece of news and information she could get her fingertips on.


Laura has a long history with horses in general, taking her first ride on her fifth birthday, with her first official riding lesson when she was eight years old. Both years she attended college she joined her school’s equestrian team, first at the now closed Virginia Intermont College, then again at Delaware State University. Unfortunately, after back and shoulder injuries, she had to hang up her saddle. 


In 2010 Laura came to Horse Racing Nation, but soon branched out to other media outlets, such as Lady and the Track, TwinSpires.com, and USRacing. She currently works at a local newspaper as a community reporter, while making a return to Horse Racing Nation, where she will once again feature her opinionated columns on the latest in horse racing. 

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