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Setsuko, Twirling Candy Ready for Californian

26 December 2010: Twirling Candy and Joel Rosario win the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, CA

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 Saturday.


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 lengthy inquiry.


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.

 

 

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