ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 9, 2014)–Multiple graded stakes-placed but winless since breaking her maiden on Oct. 20, 2013, favored Taste Like Candy got back on the beam by winning Thursday’s $58,000 Cancun Purse allowance at Santa Anita, prevailing by three quarters of a length over stable mate Fleet of Gold while getting 1 1/16 miles under Rafael Bejarano in 1:43.22.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Taste Like Candy followed her maiden win with a second place finish in the Grade I Hollywood Starlet and was then second in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 4, but remained winless in six starts until Thursday’s allowance win.
“It was a great race for both horses,” said Hollendorfer. “We’re going to certainly look for something here for Taste Like Candy, and if we can’t get a race (prior to closing day, Nov. 2), we’ll look for something at Del Mar or Los Alamitos.
A comfortable second to longshot pacesetter Malibu Honey through fractions of 22.34, 45.72, and 1:10.48, Taste Like Candy hit the front at the quarter pole and got one mile in 1:36.50.
Off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of nine fillies and mares, the 3-year-old daughter of Candy Ride paid $6.00, $3.80 and $2.80.
“I knew Malibu Honey was the speed and was going to go to the lead so I sat back a little because she doesn’t like a lot of dirt in her face,” said Bejarano, who has ridden her in all eight of her career starts. “When I hit the stretch, I could feel her getting tired and when she gained the lead, I could feel her coming back a bit. She was still running until the wire, but she was getting tired.”
Owned by Bad Boy Racing and Whizway Farms, LLC, Taste Like Candy has two wins, three seconds and a third. With the winner’s share of $34,800, she increased her earnings to $236,490.
Fleet of Gold, ridden by Alex Solis, was gradually gaining on the winner at the wire and finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of Malibu Honey. Off at 9-1, she paid $8.40 and $5.20.
Ridden by Fernando Perez, Malibu Honey was off at 18-1 and finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of second choice Baruta to be third. She paid $10.40 to show.
First post time on Friday at Santa Anita is 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.