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HRN Original Blog:

Twirling Candy Draws Post No. 5 For Big 'Cap

The 74th running of the Grade I $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap run over a mile and a quarter on the main track will showcase a superstar in the making and likely one of the shortest priced favorites in Big ‘Cap history, as Twirling Candy looks to make it seven wins in eight starts to begin his career.

“I really feel this is the best horse in the country,” said trainer John Sadler after his four and a quarter length win in the Grade II Strub Stakes on February 5 (watch my coverage below). “I don’t want to make any mistakes because he’s that good.”

The four-year-old son of Candy Ride’s other notable victories came in the Grade I Malibu at seven furlongs on opening day and with a three and a quarter length score going a mile and an eighth on turf in the Grade II Del Mar Derby last summer.

Another up and coming superstar, jockey Joel Rosario, will be in the irons once again. He has found the winner’s circle in all five previous rides aboard Twirling Candy, who drew post no. 5 and was assigned the high weight of 122 lbs. He will carry between 4-10 lbs. more than each of his rivals.

Leading trainer Bob Baffert, who won the race last year with Misremembered, will take four shots at playing the spoiler, as he sends Tweebster, Spurrier and a pair of Dudes.

Below is the complete field for Saturday's race, including post position, morning line and a brief comment.

For my analysis and selections every racing day in Southern California visit www.pick4blog.com and make sure to check out my So Cal Scoop Blog on Horse Racing Nation!

PP Horse (Morning Line Odds)  Comment

1. Soul Candy (30-1) First try on dirt after three wins on turf and one on synthetic.

2. Spurrier (15-1) A trio of second place finishes in Gr. II’s are career highlights.

3. Gladding (6-1) The “other” Sadler has won 2 straight and ensures an honest pace.

4. Pode Ir (50-1) Off the board in all three tries against graded stakes company.

5. Twirling Candy (4-5) Only concern is the inability to relax that he showed last year.

6. Setsuko (30-1) Another with just one win in what’s been a disappointing career.

7. Quindici Man (30-1) Last four wins have come at Fairplex, Zia, Fresno and Turf Paradise.

8. First Dude (5-1) Still eligible for first-level allowance in his debut for Baffert.

9. Tweebster (15-1) No match for Candy last time, but in the money in 11-of-12.

10. Aggie Engineer (6-1) Dull effort in Gr. II last time after 3 straight impressive wins.

11. Game On Dude (15-1) Three wins have come as big favorite against weaker.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @mdoche


To view my horse racing channel on YouTube click here!


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Older Comments about Twirling Candy Draws Post No. 5 For Big 'Cap...

I love Twirling Candy and hopes he romps again but I'm very curious to see what First Dude does after being switched to the care of Baffert.
I can't wait to see this race, Twirling Candy is very impressive. I also want to see what Aggie Engineer is going to do.
I love the history of the Big Cap ... so many great horses have run and won! Is Twirling Candy poised to be a great? 1 1/4 miles is a new test for Candy, I wonder if Baffert & the Dudes can give him a real test.

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Meet Marc Doche


As a life long horse racing fan and handicapper, it’s an honor to be joining
Horseracingnation.com to share my knowledge and expertise on a daily basis to horse racing fans.
Since the early 1980’s when I visited Santa Anita with my grandfather as a young boy, the track has been in my blood. As soon as I turned 16, I was driving out to the track as much as possible, and with the advent of the self-service machines, was able to wager hassle free.
After graduating from UCLA in 2000, I began my career in sports media as a site manager for Athletesdirect.com and a couple of years later became the Media Relations Coordinator for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League.
In the past few years, I have moved my focus to covering the Sport of Kings and have worked in the early hours to better understand morning workouts and putting the pieces of the handicapping puzzle together.
I have also used my journalistic talents to produce video coverage of stakes races in Southern California, as well as interviews with jockeys, trainers, owners and more. I look forward to providing their in-depth insight to you.

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