Now just a little more than two weeks away, the Breeders’ Cup is on the minds of just about every horseman these days. But John Sadler is resisting the temptation to send one of the best 3-year-olds in the country to the World Championships.
A candidate for both the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) and Dirt Mile (gr. I), Sadler will instead give Craig Family Trust’s homebred Twirling Candy a couple months off, leaving the talented 3-year-old in California to prepare for the Strub series, which begins with the seven-furlong Malibu (gr. I) at Santa Anita Dec. 26.
Sadler said the son of Candy Ride is fine physically, but decided not to push him for the Breeders’ Cup after finishing fourth in the Oct. 2 Goodwood (gr. I) at Hollywood Park. It was the first loss in five lifetime starts for Twirling Candy, who won the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) on Sept. 5.
“He’s a really big 3-year-old and he needs more time to mature physically,” Sadler said Oct. 21. “We think he’ll be one of the 4-year-old heavy hitters and decided not to push it with him. We’ll wait for the Strub series instead.”
The Strub series also includes the Jan. 15 San Fernando (gr. II) for 4-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles and the Feb. 5 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at nine furlongs.