Twirling Candy broke Spectacular Bid’s 30-year-old track record for seven furlongs with a nose victory in Sunday’s $250,000 Malibu Stakes on the first card run on the new dirt track at Santa Anita.
Twirling Candy won the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes by the narrowest of margins over Smiling Tiger, finishing in 1:19.70. Spectacular Bid was timed in 1:20 when he won the same race in 1980.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Twirling Candy stalked the pace for the first half-mile in the Malibu and caught Smiling Tiger in the final sixteenth. Caracortado finished third in the field of 11. Noble’s Promise, the 3-1 favorite, could only finish fifth.
Twirling Candy’s time was the second track record set on Sunday’s opening day program. Earlier, The Factor ran six furlongs in 1:06.98 in a maiden race for 2-year-olds, lowering the previous mark of 1:07.20 set by Sunny Blossom in 1989.