Trainer Bob Baffert sends out Spaniard, a half-brother to 2007 2-year-old filly champion Indian Blessing, for his first start June 19 in the eighth race at Hollywood Park.
Bafert focused on Spaniard from a stand overlooking the backstretch June 18 as he watched the 2-year-old colt gallop for his debut, a $48,000 maiden special weight test at five furlongs.
“I’m excited about him,” said Baffert. Like Indian Blessing, Spaniard is Hal and Patti Earnhardt-owned homebred out of their mare Shameful. Indian Blessing is by Indian Charlie. Spaniard is from the first crop of Candy Ride.
“He’s bigger and looks like Candy Ride,” said Baffert when asked to compare the two. “He’s got a good mind, is very athletic and is training well.
“He came around pretty quickly but we’ll know more after a couple of starts,” added Baffert. “I always thought Real Quiet was a runner but it took him half a dozen starts to get going. He would work well in the morning but it wasn’t until we started running him long that he showed his stuff.
“I’m a big Candy Ride fan,” said Baffert. “One of the best races I’ve ever seen was when he won the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar. Shameful was probably the best mare bred to him.”
One of Spaniard’s rivals in the maiden event is Candy Lion, another son of Candy Ride owned by Sid and Jenny Craig, who campaigned Candy Ride. Spaniard drew post three under Mike Smith.