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Mar 04, 2011

Twirling Candy steps up for Santa Anita Handicap

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Leading four-year-old colt Twirling Candy heads a field of 11 for Saturday's 74th running of the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (Big 'Cap) at Santa Anita Park. The 1 1/4-mile race has a post-time of 7:30 p.m. (et).

Twirling Candy, who will carry 122 pounds, has drawn post five with Joel Rosario again riding. The colt is a winner of six of seven career starts, including most recently the Malibu and Strub Stakes.

"He's ready to go. He's a wonderful horse," trainer John Sadler recently said. "You've always got to run the race, but I wouldn't trade horses with anybody else."

The four-year-old, who races for the Craig Family Trust, has earned $579,900 with wins last year in the Del Mar Derby, Oceanside Stakes and Goodwood. He broke Spectacular Bid's Santa Anita track record for seven-furlongs in the Malibu Stakes with a 1:19.70.

Jenny Craig announced last week that Lane's End Farm and Martin Wygod purchased an interest in Twirling Candy. He leads the season's opening NTRA National Poll with seven first-place votes and 181 points.

Sadler also sends out San Antonio Stakes champ Gladding. Owned by C R K Stable, the four-year-old gelding will break from post three with Rafael Bejarano in the saddle.

"I told Lee (co-owner Searing), 'I've got to come here and say, he'll kick the crap out of Twirling Candy," Sadler jokingly said after the San Antonio.

Gladding has earned $161,825 with three wins in 10 career starts. The San Antonio in February was his first ever start in a stakes.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has four horses entered in the Big 'Cap, San Antonio runner-up Spurrier, Preakness runner-up First Dude, Strub Stakes runner-up Tweebster and Lone Star Derby winner Game On Dude.

Here is the full field in post position order for the 74th Big 'Cap: Soul Candy, Garrett Gomez; Spurrier, Alonso Quinonez; Gladding, Rafael Bejarano; Pode Ir, David Flores; Twirling Candy, Joel Rosario; Setsuko, Victor Espinoza; Quindici Man; Martin Pedroza; First Dude, Martin Garcia; Tweebster, Mike Smith; Aggie Engineer, Joe Talamo and Game On Dude, John Velazquez.



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