Odds-on choice Twirling Candy lived up to his billing when he pulled away from pacesetter Macias to win the $112,500 Oceanside Stakes (VIDEO) as summer action got underway at Del Mar July 21.
Before a packed house at the seaside track, Jenny Craig's homebred Twirling Candy remained undefeated in three starts for trainer John Sadler. The 3-year-old son of Candy Ride was making his stakes, turf and route debut in the Oceanside, which attracted a field of 10 3-year-olds.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Twirling Candy posted a 2 1/4-length win over Macias while completing the one-mile event in 1:34.69 over firm going.
Twirling Candy settled third early and stalked Macias from about three lengths away while racing near the rail. He shifted out three paths wide for Rosario leaving the final turn. The dark bay or brown colt collared Macias past the eighth pole and drew off under a firm hand ride from Rosario.
Macias, the 7-2 second choice ridden by Martin Garica, had things his way on the front end, posting fractions of :23.53, :47.76 and 1:11.61 while leading the 30-1 outsider Just Magic by about one length. Macias, finished second by 1 1/2 lengths over the stalking Gallant Gent and Victor Espinoza, who edged Just Magic by a half-length for third.
Twirling Candy began his career Nov. 14 with a front-running three-quarters of a length win over maidens at seven furlongs at Hollywood Park, but came out of the race with sore shins. Sadler brought him back for an optional claiming race at 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood May 29, a race the 11-10 choice won impressively by 7 3/4 lengths over the Cushion Track in a sparkling 1:15.08.
He earned $67,500 for the Oceanside victory, improving his career bankroll to $114,900.
Twirling Candy was bred by Sidney and Jenny Craig in Kentucky. The dark bay or brown colt is out of House of Danzing, by Chester House.
The winner carried 119 pounds and paid $3.60, $3.20 and $2.60. Macias, the 121-pound high weight who was coming off a solid third in the Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood turf June 20 for trainer Bob Baffert, returned $3.80 and $3. The exacta paid $12. Gallant Gent was $4.20 to show.
Just Magic was followed by Face and an Ace, Hockley, Domonation, Very Fair, Killer Bear and Brady Blue Eyes.