February 8, 2023

Danzing Candy fights off double team in San Carlos

Danzing Candy tries to punch his ticket to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Del Mar (Benoit Photos)

Danzing Candy successfully fought off double team tactics from stablemates Coastline and Ransom the Moon to post a game victory Saturday in the $250,000 San Carlos (G2) at Santa Anita (G2) under Mike Smith.

The 3-10 favorite, Danzing Candy broke sharply from post 1, but was hounded the opening five furlongs by the Phil D’Amato-trained longshot Coastline in an ostensible effort to aid his Kona Gold (G2)-winning stablemate Ransom the Moon. Despite being pressured into early splits of :22.15 and :44.26, Danzing Candy fended off a serious bid from Ransom the Moon through the stretch and won by a neck in a time of 1:21.17 for seven furlongs on a fast track.

Owned by Halo Farms, Jim Bashor, and Dianne Bashor, Danzing Candy returned $2.60. Ransom the Moon was 6 1/2 lengths clear of Kobe’s Back, the 2016 San Carlos winner. Coastline and Cool Cowboy rounded out the order of finish.

Winner of the San Felipe (G2) last season, Danzing Candy was later unplaced in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby (G1) for former trainer Cliff Sise. Since joining the Baffert barn, the four-year-old by Twirling Candy has finished a close second in the Affirmed (G3), third in the $80,000 Joe Hernandez on turf, and now won three straight. He preceded this score with a 4 3/4-length victory in the Lone Star Park H. (G3) over 1 1/16 miles. His record now stands at 11-6-1-1, $700,930.

“We want to see how he comes out of today but we’ll look at the Pat O’Brien (G2) down at Del Mar,” Baffert said. “It’s a seven-eighths, ‘Win and You’re In (Breeders’ Cup Challenge Race)‘ for the Dirt Mile (G1). We just have to keep these big horses healthy and as we get close to the bigger races we can change our mind here or there but for now we’re just happy that we won.”

Bred in Kentucky by Halo Farms, Danzing Candy is out of Talkin and Singing, a Songandaprayer half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner and Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) hero Better Talk Now, who was sadly euthanized due to complications from colic this week.