Danzing Candy (Twirling Candy) trains for the Kentucky Derby (Gr I) at Churchill Downs 5/5/16.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith had Halo Farms and Jim and Diane Basher’s Danzing Candy out of the starting gates quickly in Sunday’s G3 Lone Star Park Handicap, taking the 4-year-old son of Twirling Candy straight to the lead. Unchallenged throughout the 1 1/16-mile contest, the Bob Baffert trainee swept over the muddy main track in 1:43.01 to win by about four lengths at the wire.
“Bob and Jimmy (Barnes) had him ready today, all I had to do was keep the weight on his back pretty much,” laughed Smith.
Danzing Candy was tracked by Shotgun Kowboy and Texas Chrome through the early part of the race, but neither got within a length of the leader as he set fractions on his own of :24.26, :47.97 and 1:12.01. Smith kept the colt well off the rail in the muddy conditions, and shook him up just a bit around the far turn to turn for home with a two-length lead. Texas Chrome came with a run inside of Shotgun Kowboy and briefly threatened Danzing Candy, but Smith just shook the reins at him again and he responded easily. Geared down at the wire, Danzing Candy was about four lengths in front of Texas Chrome. Shotgun Kowboy finished third, and Neck ‘n Neck came in fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Halo Farms, Danzing Candy broke his maiden in his second start, then two starts later captured the G2 San Felipe Stakes to start on the Kentucky Derby trail. He was fourth in the Santa Anita Derby, then 15th on the first Saturday in May. He came back in July 2016 to run second in the G3 Affirmed, then had the remainder of the year off. Returning to the track in March, he was third in a listed stake, then won an allowance race earlier this month in his prep for the Lone Star Handicap. Overall, the colt’s record stands at five wins from 10 starts with earnings of over $ 540,000.
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