ARCADIA, Calif. (May 5, 2017)–Favored Danzing Candy registered his first win in 15 months as he dictated terms throughout in taking Friday’s $63,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by 1 ¼ lengths under Joe Talamo while getting a flat mile in 1:34.94. A winner of the Grade II San Felipe Stakes in March 2016 when trained by Clifford Sise, he was making his third start today for Bob Baffert, who was away to saddle Abel Tasman to an upset win in Friday’s Grade I Kentucky Oaks in Louisville.
“He’s a nice horse,” said Talamo, who rode the 4-year-old Twirling Candy colt for the first time. “He broke sharp and he’s got a high cruising speed. I’d never been on him.”
When asked how his day was going, in view of the fact he’d been Abel Tasman’s regular rider prior to her being switched to Baffert’s care, Talamo broke into a smile and said, “I won two today in the sunshine, so things could be worse!” (Talamo went on to win Friday’s ninth race as well, making it a three-win afternoon).
The actual even money favorite in a field of six 3-year-olds and up, Danzing Candy paid $4.00, $2.60 and $2.10. Owned by Halo Farms and Jim and Dianne Bashor, Danzing Candy, who was well beaten in the 2016 Kentucky Derby three starts back, improved his overall mark to 9-4-1-1. With the winner’s share of $37,800, he increased his earnings to $425,930.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Accelerate was attentive to the early pace around the Club House turn, eased back off a three-horse spread heading to the half mile pole, swung three-wide turning for home and was gradually gaining on the winner at the wire.
The second choice at even money, Accelerate paid $2.40 and $2.10.
Longshot Clever Royal, who dogged the winner throughout, was overtaken by Accelerate late to finish third, 4 ¾ lengths in front of Ike Walker. Ridden by Israel Ocampo, Clever Royal was off at 75-1 and paid $6.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.20, 46.11, 1:10.24 and 1:22.36.
Special early first post time for an 11-race program on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, is at 12 noon. Admission gates will open at 7:15 a.m. Approximate post time for the Kentucky Derby is at 3:40 p.m. PT.