In his last start, Candy Boy took
second billing behind an Eclipse Award-clinching performance from
Shared Belief. On Saturday, it was Candy Boy who
emerged on the scene.
Rating behind a solid early pace under
jockey Gary Stevens, the John Sadler trainee rallied to take the
Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. In doing so, the son
of Candy Ride earned 10 2014 Kentucky Derby points.
Diamond Bachelor broke sharply and
assumed command going into the first turn. He was eventually joined
by Chitu, while heavy favorite (and Chitu's stablemate in Bob
Baffert's barn) Midnight Hawk stalked three-wide and Candy Boy
settled behind the leaders on the rail. As the field turned for home,
though, Diamond Bachelor conceded the lead, setting the stage for a
thrilling stretch run.
Chitu, who was trying two turns for the
first time, dug down deep to repel Midnight Hawk, who could not get
by. Candy Boy, though, had swung out to the middle of the track and
would prove a tougher adversary, and despite Chitu's strong effort,
the latecomer edged by in the final sixteenth and prevailed by a
The Lewis was the second win in six
lifetime starts for Candy Boy, who stopped the timer in 1:41.83 for
the 1 1/16-mile distance. His career earnings now sit at $305,600,
with the lion's share having come in his last two outings. Meanwhile,
the victory cemented a great afternoon for Sadler, who also won the
Grade 2 San Marcos Saturday with Vagabond Shoes.
Chitu's four Kentucky Derby points put
him on the board, while Midnight Hawk, who won the Grade 3 Sham last
month, added two points to his total, which is now 12. Diamond
Bachelor hung on for fourth for the final Derby point dispersed, and
he may be headed back to the turf, possibly his preferred surface.
The next Derby prep on the schedule at Santa Anita is the Grade 2 San Felipe, which will take place on March 8th. It carries 85 Derby points, 50 of which will go to the winner.