C R K Stable’s CANDY BOY, ridden by Gary Stevens for trainer John Sadler, earned his first 10 points on the Road to #KYD14 Saturday in taking the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park. Sent off at odds of 2.3-1, Candy Boy stalked the lead as Diamond Bachelor set early fractions of :23.33, 46.8 and 1:10.84. Chitu then took the lead briefly into the stretch, but it was not enough to hold off Candy Boy, who crossed the wire a half-length ahead of Chitu in second and favorite Midnight Hawk finished third. Final time was 1:41.83 for the 1 1/16-mile contest over the fast Santa Anita dirt.
Candy Boy takes the $200,500 Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita (Zoe Metz/Eclipse Sports Photos
Candy Boy broke his maiden on November 22 at Hollywood Park, then placed second to Shared Belief in the Cashcall Futurity (G1) also at Hollywood. His record now stands at 6-2-2-0 with total earnings of $305,600. Candy Boy is now in a nine-way tie for fourth place in the #KYD14 standings.
“For a big horse he has a lot of acceleration and confidence on the turn,” Stevens told Bloodhorse.com. “I was closer than I thought we were going to be today. He’s grown a lot lately, he’s grown but he’s also grown (mentally), too. I’ve been up for his last five works and we haven’t really squeezed the trigger yet.”
“The gallop-out was huge today and I was already thinking about the Santa Anita Derby as we were galloping out around the turn. It was a lot of fun and he didn’t even take a deep breath after the race. He’s a super talent.”
“I just wanted Gary to be patient,” Sadler added, “because (Candy Boy) runs a distance, no problem. He kind of had a premature move a little bit in the CashCall. I think Gary will tell you that, you know, he moved him a little bit quick. Now he knows him a little better.”
Two more races carrying a 10-4-2-and-1-point value are the El Camino Real Derby (2/15) at Golden Gate Fields and the Southwest Stakes (2/17) at Oaklawn Park. Starting February 22, The Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park will be the first of eight races valued at the 50-20-10-and-5-point scale, thus virtually guaranteeing a spot to the winners of the higher-valued races.
Stay tuned for coverage of the El Camino Real Derby and Southwest Stakes at ROAD2KYD.COM!