SOUL CANDY TAKES AIM AT 1 ½ MILES IN SATURDAY’S GRADE III TOKYO CITY CUP

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 23, 2011) – A fast-closing fourth in the historic Santa Anita Handicap earlier this month, Soul Candy will attempt to further his resume on Saturday when heading a field of six in Santa Anita’s 55th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at 1 ½ miles.

The main track marathon will mark the 5-year-old gelding’s first try at the distance, but his effort behind victorious Game On Dude in the Grade I Big ’Cap at 1 ¼ miles indicated the extra quarter-mile could well be in his wheelhouse.

“He worked really nice on Sunday, and the distance should be no problem for him,” said Paddy Gallagher, who trains Soul Candy.

A California-bred son of Birdonthewire, Soul Candy closed strongly to win the $150,000 California Cup Classic at 1 1/8 miles during last October’s Oak Tree meet at Hollywood Park for his first stakes victory. On turf, he rallied for third behind Caracortado in Santa Anita’s $300,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at 1 1/8 miles on January 29.

Joe Talamo will take over in the saddle for Garrett Gomez, who will be riding in the Dubai World Cup program this weekend. Owned by E Z Eight Racing Stable and breeder Madera Thoroughbreds, Soul Candy has earned $295,300 from a career record of 4-1-2 in 13 starts.

Trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer’s Rendezvous is back for another try in the Tokyo City Cup after his late run fell three-quarters-of-a-length shy of overhauling victorious Tap It Light in last year’s running.

The 5-year-old son of Victory Gallop, proven at the marathon distance, has been stuck in a lengthy winless streak. After a victory in the 2009 Del Mar Derby, Rendezvous has gone 11 races without a win. Brice Blanc will ride the winner of $427,225 from a 4-3-7 record in 24 career starts.

Hollendorfer also will send out lightly-raced Honour the Deputy, a 4-year-old gelding who was third to Misremembered in the March 6 Santana Mile and who chased Twirling Candy in the Grade II Strub Stakes the previous month. Corey Nakatani will be aboard the grey who is seeking his first stakes win and who is unproven at the distance.

Trainer Bob Baffert’s Spurrier, who has raced 28 times, also will be in search of his first stakes victory. Arnold Zetcher’s 6-year-old gray finished a non-threatening eighth in the Santa Anita Handicap. He has never raced beyond 1 ¼ miles while winning five times. Martin Garcia rides.

Spendthrift Farm’s Worth Repeating will be seeking his first win in his last nine starts. The 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway has demonstrated distance potential. He finished a respectable fifth, 2 ¼ lengths behind victorious Unusual Suspect, in last November’s Grade I Hollywood Turf Cup at 1 ½ miles on turf Martin Pedroza has the mount for trainer Richard Mandella.

The complete field for the Tokyo City Cup, with jockeys in post position order (each entrant carries 118 pounds): Honour the Deputy, Corey Nakatani; Worth Repeating, Martin Pedroza; Rendezvous, Brice Blanc; Soul Candy, Joseph Talamo; Arcodoro, Edwin Maldonado-Alicea, and Spurrier, Martin Garcia.

The Tokyo City Cup is carded as the seventh race on a program of nine races with first post at 12:30 p.m.

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