Twirling Candy and Setsuko, two of the prime
participants in a series of bumping incidents through the stretch of a roughly
run Santa Anita Handicap March 5, are ready to resume their rivalry in the
$150,000 Californian at Hollywood Park
The Grade II test at 1 1/8 miles on Cushion Track
serves as a major prep for the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup July 9.
Twirling Candy, who was pinballed in the middle of
the bumping and finished fifth as the 1-2 favorite, worked one mile in 1:38
Sunday. “Nice and smooth,” said trainer John Sadler. “We’re looking to run.
“Twirling Candy actually came out of the Big’ Cap in
good shape physically,” said Sadler. “He had an abscess on his foot when he
came to Hollywood Park but
that was taken care of.”
Sadler also considered entering Gladding, 10th-place
finisher in the Big ‘Cap, in the Californian pending a Monday work.
Trainer Richard Mandella hopes that Setsuko luck
changes in the Californian. The 4-year-old colt finished second by a nose
behind Game On Dude in the Big ‘Cap after being bumped in midstretch. The Hall
of Fame trainer was disappointed by a “no change” decision by stewards after a
Mandella hoped to run Setsuko in the $1-million
Charles Town Classic in West Virginia
April 16 but the 4-year-old colt, who has not won a stake, was bumped out of
the last spot in a field of 10 by a late entrant with better criteria. Setsuko
broke his maiden at Hollywood Park and has
finished second in three graded stakes.
Trainer Paddy Gallagher said he planned to enter both
Soul Candy and Aggie Engineer, fourth and ninth, respectively, in the Big ‘Cap.
“Both have run well here before,” said Gallagher in reference to wins by Soul
Candy in the California Cup Classic and Aggie Engineer in the Native Diver
Handicap last fall, both at the Californian distance. Aggie Engineer worked six
furlongs in 1:12.60.
As many as nine could participate. Probables include
Twirling Candy (Joel Rosario), Setsuko (Victor Espinoza), Soul Candy (Garrett
Gomez), Aggie Engineer (Joe Talamo), Victory Pete (Tyler Baze), Honour the
Deputy and Spurrier.
Spurrier, fourth in the Californian last year, worked
four furlongs in 47.60, while Victory Pete drilled six furlongs in 1:13.20.
Gladding and Informed, the 2009 winner, are possible.