Gabriel Charles and Ethnic Dance used different tactics to get there, but both were winners in separate divisions of the $250,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Sept. 1.
Twirling Candy enhanced his reputation as perhaps the best handicap horse in the nation when he overcame traffic problems to run down the field in the $150,000 Californian Stakes (gr. II) at Hollywood Park June 4.
Looking like a standout for next month's Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), heavily favored Twirling Candy simply overpowered his rivals in winning the $200,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 5.
John Sadler and Joel Rosario completed a sweep of the three graded stakes on the opening day program at Santa Anita Dec. 26 when Twirling Candy nosed Smiling Tiger in a thrilling finish to the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (gr. I).
Undefeated Twirling Candy, as expected, easily won the $300,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) as the 1-5 favorite, but his backstretch antics in the Sept. 5 turf event caused some controversy.
Odds-on choice Twirling Candy lived up to his billing when he pulled away from Macias to win the $112,500 Oceanside Stakes as summer action got underway at Del Mar July 21.
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