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Twirling Candy Only Returning Champ

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

Victories in the Oceanside Stakes and Del Mar Derby led to Twirling Candy being voted the  top 3-year-old male of the 2010 Del Mar meeting. A year older, with six more races of experience and under partially new ownership, Twirling Candy appears likely to be the only meet champion returning to race in 2011.

Twirling Candy was owned solely by Jenny Craig and the Craig Family Trust a year ago. Subsequently, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club director Martin Wygod of Rancho Santa Fe and Kentucky breeder William S. Farish have acquired part interest with Twirling Candy ticketed for the Farish family’s Lane’s End Farm at the end of his racing career.

A son of 2003 Pacific Classic winner Candy Ride, Twirling Candy was an impressive, 2 ¼ -length winner of the Oceanside, traditional Del Mar opening day feature which will mark its 66th running on Wednesday. Six weeks later, Twirling Candy’s 3 ¼-length Del Mar Derby victory was controversial when the colt bore out on the backstretch and interfered with another horse. After a stewards’ inquiry, however, the order of finish was unchanged.

Twirling Candy’s 2011 campaign has included victories in the Strub Stakes at Santa Anita and the Californian at Hollywood Park, a fifth in the Santa Anita Handicap and third in the Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park on Saturday, July 9.

 The Bob Baffert-trained duo of First Dude and Game On Dude finished ahead of Twirling Candy in the Gold Cup. The $1 million Pacific Classic on August 28, might feature a rematch with Twirling Candy facing one or both of the “Dudes.”

As to the other 2010 Del Mar meeting champions? A rundown:

Horse of the Meeting and top Older Female,  Zenyatta – Retired to Lane’s End Farm with a 19-1 career mark; in foal to Bernardini.

 Older Horse Richard’s Kid – The winner of the 2009 and 2010 Pacific Classics is “turned out” in Dubai, Baffert said, but the possibility exists of a return to racing.

Grass Horse, The Usual Q.T. – Having some R & R at a farm in Ontario with expectations of a return for the winter/spring Santa Anita meeting for trainer Jim Cassidy.

Sprinter, El Brujo – Retired due to injury to a farm in Canada.

Three-Year-Old female, Evening Jewel – Purchased by Aaron and Marie Jones and retired for breeding at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky.

Two-Year-Old filly, Tell A Kelly – Now the charge of East Coast-based trainer Chad Brown, unraced since the spring.

Two-Year-Old male,  J P’s Gusto – Ran in Derby preps in Arkansas but none of the Triple Crown races. Now back to sprinting with a Saratoga campaign planned.



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