Candy Ride in Much-Awaited American Test

(from HollywoodPark report)
Friday's $150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT), a turf event that has been won by nine champions, figures to more clearly define the burgeoning international status of South American superstar Candy Ride.

A 4-year-old Argentine-bred, Candy Ride dazzled in his United States debut on June 7 after winning three starts in his native country, including a pair of Group I stakes, by a combined margin of 28 lengths.

Purchased privately by Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally on behalf of Sid and Jenny Craig, Candy Ride subsequently captured his Hollywood Park introduction, a $58,000 allowance race, by three lengths while running 1 1/16 miles on dirt in 1:41 1/5.

Candy Ride, who will face six rivals in the 1 1/8-mile American, has generated nothing but superlatives during his brief North American exposure. His normally blasé Hall of Fame trainer says his hand trembles when he clocks the handsome bay in the mornings. "Unreal," exclaimed exercise rider Paddy Daulton following a seven-furlong drill of 1:24 on June 27 in preparation for the American.

Ridden by Alex Solis in his U.S. bow, Hall of Famer Gary Stevens will take over on Friday aboard the son of Ride The Rails, whose two group I victories in Argentina were accomplished on grass. Candy Ride, who drew the outside post, will carry high weight of 120 pounds.

Candy Ride's most formidable competition in the American could come from either Special Ring or Sunday Break. A winner of seven of 21 lifetime starts, Special Ring most recently was second to Redattore in the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) on May 26.

Trained by Julio Canani for Prestonwood Farm, Special Ring likes to run on the lead. He led throughout the Shoemaker until overhauled in the closing strides in his first start since August 2. Sunday Break, who was third in last year's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has run but once on turf for trainer Neil Drysdale. The Japanese-bred son of Forty Nine was third in the Arcadia Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita on April 6, one-half length behind victorious Century City.

Also on the Independence Day card at Hollywood Park is the $100,000-added Landaluce Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies.

Runaway maiden winner Apenwald, who drew the inside post in a field of six, tries to become sire Swiss Yodeler's first graded stakes winner for trainer Mike Harrington. Apenwald woke up in her most recent race after three misses, whipping a California-bred maiden group by 6 1/2 lengths in tiem of :57 3/5 for 5 1/2 furlongs.

Her main competition is expected to come from Wacky Patty, a two-length winner of the May 11 Nursery Stakes, and Cherish Destiny, a Doug-O'Neill-trained daughter of Grand Slam who went gate to wire to break her maiden June 12.

Instead of its standard night racing card on Friday, Hollywood Park's first post on the holiday will be at 1:20 p.m.

$150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT), 3 & up, 1 1/8 mile on turf
1. Ninebanks, Ron Warren, Jr., 115
2. Californian, Victor Espinoza, 108
3. Irish Warrior, Alex Solis, 114
4. Tijiyr, Jose Valdivia, Jr., 112
5. Special Ring, David Flores, 118
6. Sunday Break, Corey Nakatani, 117
7. Candy Ride, Gary Stevens, 120

$100,000-added Landaluce Stakes (gr. III), 2-year-old fillies, 6 furlongs
1. Alpenwald, Alex Solis, 116
2. Outrageous Oyster, Mike Smith, 116
3. Cherish Destiny, Tyler Baze, 116
4. Platinum Princess, David Flores, 116
5. Silver Hawk Lady, Gary Stevens, 114
6. Wacky Patty, Jose Valdivia Jr., 119