He's big, he's tall, and he's dark, but Twirling Candy is no stranger to racing fans. Unbeaten and untested in four starts, he is known as a budding star. His last two scores in the Oceanside Stakes and the Del Mar Derby have only solidified that belief.
One would think that two such impressive scores over the lawn, both of which were won with a big powerful late spurt that left the fields toiling in his wake, would warrant a stab at racing's most exciting weekend, the Breeders Cup Turf. That, however, may not be where the good looking son of Candy Ride is being pointed.
There is almost no doubt that with such a talented horse, trainer John Saddler will try to make the Breeders Cup, but the Turf, which may be the most logical option, may not be the race Saddler is eyeing the most. The race he may have his sights set on could possibly be none other than the Classic.
Why in the world would Sadder do a thing like that? Why would he take what is obviously a monster over the turf and switch him to dirt? The answer is that Twirling Candy has two easy and dominant wins over the surface in California that plays most like dirt. Hollywood Park's Cushion Track.
In his debut, before anyone knew his name, Twirling Candy won by a measured half a length over Nextdoorneighbor, a horse that was being considered for this year's Kentucky Derby. He then followed that effort up with an eye catching allowance race that he won going away. Now he is being pointed towards the Goodwood, a Grade one, again at Hollywood Park.
Should he win the Goodwood like he has everything else, easily, then why not take a stab at the Classic? With Candy Ride as a sire and the way he is always striding out so strongly after the finish, would suggest that he should have no trouble with the distance. His sire could've cared less what was under his feet, and as of now, it seems he has passed that trait on to Twirling Candy.
The talented colt will have a lot going against him if he enters the Classic. One big obstacle is the quality of the field. This year's Classic seems to be shaping up as one of the best in recent memory. He also had to shake off the curse that seems to follow California synthetic horses once they try main track under the Twin Spires. Finally, he will have to overcome his inexperience. If he goes in the Classic, it will be only his sixth career start.
Can such a lightly raced colt, even one as talented as Twirling Candy, win despite all that stands in his way? If he can, there is no reason to not use the word 'great' to describe him. If he falls just short, it will be expected, and there will many ex uses for him to fall back on. However, a loss will not mean he cannot still be great. It only means it was too much too soon. One thing is for certain, with a talent like Twirling Candy, anything is possible.