Pulling and rank going down the back stretch despite taking the blinkers off for the first time, 2-to-5 on
Twirling Candy might as well have been 15-to-1. However, in a dynamic display
of superstardom, the four-year-old son of Candy Ride overcame the trouble he
brought upon himself to storm by the rest of the field and win the $150,000
Californian (Grade II) by over a length.
“They were going so slow and I knew I was in a bad spot so I
had to get to the outside,” said jockey Joel Rosario. “He showed me he’s a good
horse. He can do anything.”
By capturing his seventh career win from nine starts, the
four-year-old son of Candy Ride evoked the gamut of emotions from the horse
racing world in pushing his career earnings over $700,000.
“It brought tears to my eyes today. He trained like that in
the morning when he would break ten off of horses so it didn’t surprise me,”
said assistant trainer Larry Benavidez. “At the 5/8 pole, I said this may be a little
bit of a Big ‘Cap bad nightmare again, but we have not seen the best of this
horse. He’s going to be heard from this year.”
After edging himself into a second place finish for the sixth
time in 13 starts, 4-to-1 second choice Setsuko validated his runner-up effort from
two months ago in the Santa Anita Handicap (Grade I).
Aggie Engineer went off as the
9-to-1 third choice and dug-in for third to round out a $13.40 trifecta after
tracking surprise pace-setter Victory Pete, who faded to last.
A start in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (Grade I) is the next likely step in Twirling Candy's quest for Horse of the Year honors.
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