Two days ahead of Santa Anita Park's second official Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) prep, another 3-year-old colt made waves with what could end up being his first step on the Triple Crown trail Feb. 4.
Video: Race 7 (AOC) at SA on 2/4/16
Danzing Candy , a Halo Farms homebred owned in partnership with Jim and Diane Bashor, won his two-turn debut and third start overall by 5 3/4 lengths with ease Thursday at the Southern California racetrack.
The Twirling Candy colt broke his maiden Dec. 26 at Santa Anita, when he set the pace and cruised to victory at seven furlongs under first-time rider Mike Smith, and duplicated that effort in a mile allowance/optional claimer Thursday. Trainer Cliff Sise said after the race that the colt will likely be headed to the March 12 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
"We're staying (at Santa Anita)," Sise said. "He seems to like this track."
Out of the Songandaprayer mare Talkin and Singing, Danzing Candy shot out to the lead after he broke slowly, ran fractions of :23.14, :46.60, and 1:11.10 through six furlongs, and hit the wire in 1:36.73 without any asking from his Hall of Fame jockey.
The slow start is a habit Smith would like Danzing Candy to break. The jockey said after the race that, because the colt tends to break slowly, he has to ask him to get closer to get into a race.
"If we can get him jumping better, then I don't have to (push) him and we can place him," Smith said. "Then I think he's really going to be good. He doesn't have to be in front, but I'm having to put him there because he breaks so slow. If I just sit there, next thing you know (he'll get shuffled back).
"I have to kinda use him right now and that puts him on the lead. I really don't want to be there, but once you get him going it's hard to (hold him back)."