2011 Santa Anita Handicap - Predict the Order of Finish

Who will win the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap? Will Twirling Candy keep on rolling? Will First Dude break through? Or will it be another Dude from Bob Baffert's barn? Now is your chance to see how your picks stack up against the rest of the BloodHorse.com community.

Need more information about the Santa Anita Handicap? Read the race preview.

To participate, use your cursor to drag the selections on the left (currently arranged in post position order) to the blank placeholders on the right. Once you have completed ranking all of the horses, submit your entries and compare your results to the rest of the community. A first place ranking will earn 10 points, second place receives 9 points, and so on.    

60 Comments

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skyfire

Twirling Candy first, the rest nowhere (I have read that phrase used in reference to Kelso)

02 Mar 2011 8:39 PM
SilverCharmForever

Tweebster from the back of the pack to win!

02 Mar 2011 9:52 PM
ctgreyhound

Twirl on, candy man...leave the rest in the dust.  However, a First Dude breakthrough would be nice. It would also make Baffort appear invincible.

02 Mar 2011 10:10 PM
Deacon

All through the 1950's and 1960's and even through most of the 1970's the Santa Anita Handicap was such a prestigious race. Looking back in history some great horses honored us with their presence in this magical race. The hallowed grounds of Santa Anita Park and listening to the call of Joe Hernandez sent chills up my spine. Rarely now do the beasts from the east ship west, and because of the immense purses of Dubai the Santa Anita Handicap has been relugated to just another race. So sad, it tears my heart apart. I grew up on this racetrack. I watched the likes of Swaps, and past winners of this race that included Round Table, Prove It, Hill Rise, Lucky Debonair, Pretense, Ack Ack, Cougar II, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John Henry (twice) and the grey Vigors. All past champions. Now look who we have in this years race, other then Twirling Candy and trust me his resume is just ok, we virtually have nothing running againsr him. Because of greed and poor management and drugs, and you name it, the state of this great sport is depressing. Oh well, just my thoughts........  

03 Mar 2011 2:54 AM
an ole rail bird

i have watched & rooted for first dude ,his whole 3 yr. old year. and believe he is as hard knocking horse as has come down the pike , in a long time. i also believe that martin garcia,& super bob baffert can move him, by devoloping his late kick. twirling candy better bring his best game in this race. first dude - twirling candy exata will be classic.  

03 Mar 2011 5:05 AM
Fran Loszynski

As Toby Maguire said in the movie "Seabiscuit"

"Come on! This is the Santa Anita!"

Twirling Candy

Setsuko

Game On Dude

03 Mar 2011 8:21 AM
anniedixie65

In my opinion Twirling Candy is currently the best Handicap horse in the country and none of these horses are going to catch him.

03 Mar 2011 9:43 AM
Pedigree Ann

Actually, the line was originally "Eclipse first, the rest nowhere", in reference to the 18th Century Eclipse, from whom so many TBs descend in tail-male. It predicted that Eclipse would beat his field by 'a distance', ie the rest of the horses would be so far back at the finish, the judges couldn't estimate the lengths beaten. Clearly someone was comparing Kelso to Eclipse when they used that paraphrase.

03 Mar 2011 10:11 AM
Criminal Type

aggie engineer, twirling candy, first dude.

03 Mar 2011 10:14 AM
Forbidden Apple

I'm playing straight exactas, Twirling Candy over Setsuko and both dudes.

After a Big Cap win, Twirling Candy will ship to the Dubai World Cup.

03 Mar 2011 10:30 AM
Teaser

Twirling Candy is the best horse in training and will prove it again the the Big Cap.

03 Mar 2011 10:52 AM
Mike

Twirling Candy will not cover this distance. I would play him if this was a mile but that extra quarter is going to hurt his chances in this race. I have fallen for this too many times. A 4-5 with this speed never ever wins these. First Dude will show like he always does. At least when I play he does. Look for the 6 over the 3, 8, 11 for a nice super. Although the 1 horse does scare me alittle. Hmmm... Good Luck handicappers!!!

03 Mar 2011 12:00 PM
G-MAN

Baffert has Sadler circled.  It's going to be a showdown.  Twirling Candy has yet to go 10 furlongs yet so he's not a single on my ticket.  Box Candy and First Dude on top of everybody else.  Can't wait....

03 Mar 2011 1:06 PM
Runfast159

I have to go with the horse that is proven on the track and hasn't done anything wrong.  That is Twirling Candy.  Spurrier continues his string of runner-up-itis and First Dude does what he always does: shows up but not quite enough.  Though for the record, I have always loved First Dude! So my first 5 are:

TWIRLING CANDY

SPURRIER

FIRST DUDE

GAME ON DUDE

GLADDING

Then the Kilroe pits 2 of my favorites against each other: Caracortado and Fluke!

A great day of racing at Santa Anita!

03 Mar 2011 1:26 PM
mark

Twirling Candy good hard knocking race horse with alot of kick.But the question on my mind is  the layoff is he going to need a race before getting  back into winning ways.I have alot of ways  to handicapp this race like everyone else.But it seems a little strange to me that top trainers like Bob Baffert, J W Sadler and  P Gallagher sends out nearly 70 percent  of the entrants in this years Santa Anita Handicap.With Twirling Candy and jockey J Rosario with a target on their backs and top trainers sending out uncoupled entry to feel this years feild.I look elsewhere to make a profit and here is the horse i like

pros and cons

Setsuko (KY) and jockey V Espinoza

been working steadly for this spot and trainer R E Mandella loves his workout times so is sittng on a win

pros

good decent win and jock percentage

been workingout like a good horse

Good long striding colt

Cons

has no focus

givesup on the fight factor

has been beaten by most of the feild combine 12 lenghts

Value play

I will be buying him too win

also will be placing  him over on top with exacta s and tri see what happens at 20-1 or better  i love live longshots if V Espinoza can keep him moving and the weight 112 he will be carrying less than 10 pounds from Twirling Candy  may make him a winner good luck all and remember we are the fans that keep racing going

03 Mar 2011 1:57 PM
Hot Rod

First Dude will run down Twirling Candy & Aggie Engineer!! There`s your Trifecta and Your Welcome!!

03 Mar 2011 2:28 PM
cover2

Tw Cdy primed for upset, " 2 hardest races to win SA Hdcp &

Ky Dby " Ben Jones.  Spurrier

crying for the distance. Make it

a sadler/baffert exotics box

03 Mar 2011 3:22 PM
Householder

Nice Deacon!  It's sad to think that the United States has but just one or two races that rank in the top 100 in terms of purse money offered.  It's equally sad to think that someone Saturday may actually topple the great Affirmed's record of 1:58 and change.  

Some other speedy types who have won...

Best Pal...1:59

John Henry...1:59 (At 7!)

and not sure of his time but sticking with the gelding thing 2x winner Lava Man.

and who can forget the movie Seabiscuit!

Look for Aggie Engineer to spring the minor upset.  

03 Mar 2011 5:20 PM
Deacon

Householder:   Lava Man ran a 200.52 in 2006, and a 202.1 in 2007. Of course the track was synthetic then so who knows how good that is. In 1995 a horse called Urgent Request ran a 159.25 which is very good but I don't know much about the horse.  Best Pal ran a 159 flat in 1992. Martial Law had the 2nd fastest time ever in 1989 when he ran a 158.4, and John Henry broke the 2 minute barrier twice, in 1981 he ran a 159.2 and in 1982 he ran a 159 flat. The first to break the 2 minute barrier was Round Table in 1958 when he ran a 159.80.

The race has just lost it's luster and we can all thank the owners and trainers for this. I sure don't know how to fix this...........  

03 Mar 2011 6:17 PM
Karen in Texas

It will be interesting to see if going to Baffert makes a difference for First Dude.

03 Mar 2011 8:06 PM
Gary Tasich

If First Dude is going to do it...now is the time....

03 Mar 2011 8:21 PM
winnow

saw twirling candy..... n the word was he was going to be a monster or better than sidney candy and just check his record. well this candy will taste better at ur pocket lol

03 Mar 2011 8:24 PM
Ranagulzion

First Dude leads a merry chase from pillar to post, turning back a discouraged Twirling Candy at the eighth pole and staving off a late closing Spurrier.  

03 Mar 2011 8:51 PM
pault

Placing in last three graded stakes Spurrier the ultimate  grinder gets his due.Spurrier is not fastest of pack but with added furlong  pulls major upset running down fading Candy.

03 Mar 2011 10:02 PM
Billy's Empire

Runfast, don't forget about the Oaks, Turbulent Descent, Zazu, and A Z Warrior also race on Saturday, along with May Day Rose.

For the hell of it, and being that the race is in California, it should be an All "DUDE" affair.

04 Mar 2011 11:06 AM
Carl

A lot of people think Candy Ride offspring are suspect at classic distances, but they forget the history here: Candy Ride comes from the Cryptoclearance-Mr. Prospector line on one side and the Invasor bloodline on the other. They are fast, but with proper handling, there is no reason these horses can't get classic distances. Doe's anyone doubt Invasors gutty performances?

My only regret with these colts is that Twirling Candy seems to be getting a better shot at history than Sidney's Candy. With patient handling and a strong rider to control and rate him, I think Sidney might be a better horse than Twirling. I guess they are saving Sidney for the grass. If Goldikova slips up in the Mile next time, a matured Sidney might just run away with Breeder's Cup Mile. Here's hoping.

04 Mar 2011 11:54 AM
Linda in Texas

Deacon - just know your knowledge is priceless along with your big heart. I love your posts and the history you relate.

I voted in the poll to see First Dude hitting the wire first, then

Twirling Candy in the 2 spot, Aggie Engineer in the 3 spot(because Texas A and M is in my home state, Giggm' Aggies,) and then Game on Dude 4 for the heck of it. Texas has a lot of dudes!!!

2 legged and 4 legged.

I like Setsuko also but had to make a selection.

Be safe is my motto for all.

04 Mar 2011 12:26 PM
GunBow

Deacon:

Lava Man won both his Big Caps on dirt.  The first year the Big Cap was run on synthetic was 2008(Heatseeker).

04 Mar 2011 2:59 PM
GunBow

The story of the Big Cap is clearly Twirling Candy.  He makes the Big Cap potentially special, and without him the race would be quite bland.

While Twirling Candy is the star of the show, I feel his "best horse in the country" status(among some) is premature.  Yes, Twirling Candy was impressive in the Strub, but he had an easy trip stalking an overmatched miler and didn't have to deal with much coming from behind.  

Twirling Candy undoubtedly has talent, but he has never won beyond 9 furlongs and never won outside his age group.  The one time Twilring Candy tried horses older than himself, the Goodwood, he faltered in the stretch to finish 4th.  Unlike the Strub, the Big Cap should give us a true read on whether Twirling Candy actually is one of the best horses in the country.

The field Twirling Candy faces in the Big Cap is not great by the race's standards, but it is considerably better than the Strub field.  For one, instead of having to run down Indian Firewater, Twirling Candy will have to get by First Dude, the expected pacesetter.  First Dude, twice classics placed, is now in the hands of Bob Baffert, and for me this makes him the horse Twirling Candy must beat.  

First Dude has shown brilliance in the past, and I believe Baffert, one of the great "speed" trainers, has him ready to gun on Saturday.  With First Dude having shown the ability to carry his speed up to 12 furlongs, I believe Twilring Candy will have to work quite hard to get by him in the stretch.

If First Dude sets a lively pace and Twirling Candy expends alot of energy trying to reel him in, it's not inconceivable that a longer priced laterunner gets into the fray the final eighth.  With such a scenario in mind, keep an eye on Soul Candy, a powerful horse that has won at a mile and three-eighths and has been steadily getting better.

I also think Baffert's other "Dude", Game on Dude, warrants a look.  Baffert was high on this horse last year, and sent him from the Lone Star Derby to the Belmont, where he finished a solid 4th.  Game on Dude had a nice tuneup winning an allowance over the track, and his stalking style will allow him to be close to the lead if the pace is slow or drop off it should First Dude gun.

Gladding, the other Sadler, also deserves respect, although I'm not sure how he will be ridden.  While Gladding set the pace in the San Antonio, it was a glacial pace; if he runs the same fractions, Gladding will likely be 10 lengths behind First Dude early.  However, Gladding did show more zip in his one mile allowance win earlier in the meet.  His tactical speed, along with breeding(by Sarava) which suggests 10 furlongs should be no problem, gives him some appeal.

I'm not quite sure what to make of Aggie Engineer.  In my opinion, in the San Antonio Aggie' received one of the worst rides that I've witnessed in person.  In the San Antonio, Aggie', a horse with excellent tactical speed, was strangled early by Joe Talamo as Gladding set a dawdling pace.  Given how the race unfolded, Talamo should have had Aggie Engineer either on the lead or at least hustled him up to Gladding's flank once it became apparent the pace was going to be slow.  Instead, Talamo kept Aggie at the back of the field and wide.  Then, rather than make an early run, Talamo continued to wait, even allowing Spurrier to get the jump on him.  Aggie, a noted stalker was made to run like a closer, and not surprisingly, he didn't respond that well, rallying only mildly for 3rd.

Given what I think was an atrocious ride in the San Antonio, I would really likely to give Aggie Engineer another chance.  However, I'm not sure whether Aggie really wants 10 furlongs.

If Twirling Candy romps, so be it; I'll enjoy the show.  However, I think he is more vulnerable than some believe, with First Dude and Soul Candy the horses most likely for the upset.  

04 Mar 2011 3:45 PM
Pedigree Ann

The Santa Anita Handicap hasn't lost its lustre; every halfway decent two-turn stakes horse on the grounds is in, and a new shooter from Florida is now in the mix. The problem is that the older horse division is paper-thin and has been for years. Of the horses who should be here, Richard's Kid is in Dubai, Lookin' at Lucky is retired; Blame is retired. And why are those latter horses retired? Because they can make more money as stallions than as racehorses. THAT is why races for older horses look lack-lustre these days; as soon as a horse has accomplished something at the top level, Whoosh! off to the stud farm.

04 Mar 2011 6:52 PM
Householder

Pedigree Ann.  Lookin at Lucky would probably be the favorite here.

I remember the days when Alysheba would take 6 grade 1 wins in a year including the Big Cap over Ferdinand, the Woodward, and the BC Classic.  That horse would just kick up his hind feet in the walking circle before the big race.

Ruhlmann...A Moss monster who left the best mare in the county at the time in his wake.

Tiznow...Free House...

Heatseeker, this is when I said who is the Hollendorfer guy and what's he doing here.

04 Mar 2011 8:54 PM
Householder

Oh and The Bid...who can forget The Bid.

04 Mar 2011 8:55 PM
tcc

Gladding, the other Sadler, also deserves respect, although I'm not sure how he will be ridden.  While Gladding set the pace in the San Antonio, it was a glacial pace; if he runs the same fractions, Gladding will likely be 10 lengths behind First Dude early.  However, Gladding did show more zip in his one mile allowance win earlier in the meet.  His tactical speed, along with breeding(by Sarava) which suggests 10 furlongs should be no problem, gives him some appeal. Soul Candy the horses most likely for the upset.

  GunBow 04 Mar 2011 3:45 PM

I might try a wps on these 2 horses. They do look a liitle interesting.

04 Mar 2011 10:48 PM
Dinney123

If Twirling Candy is healthy and is able to run his race like the Strub I do not see him getting beat. This horse is a freak and I hope he shows it off today.

He wasn't even being asked in the Strub and he got the mile and an eighth in 1:46 and change. That's a very good time. And Gladding, the other horse in here who won the San Antonio the next day, ran the mile and an eighth in 1:48 flat. The distance, in my opinion, should be NO PROBLEM for Twirling Candy.

If First Dude is at his game he could be a look though. He always shows up and loves to run his stuff. But do you all remember Perfect Drift? No matter if they put him in grade 3 races or grade 1 races he ALWAYS finished second or third. That's what I think First Dude is like. Loves to hit the board but not the winner's circle.

Another longshot look in here is Game on Dude and even Gladding. If Gladding gets a slow pace like he did in the San Antonio (which I highly doubt he will), he can be a huge factor.

But in the end, I believe Twirling Candy is going to run away with this race. I do believe he is the best horse in America and I hope Joel Rosario keeps some gas left in the tank so he can ship over to Dubai, run in the World Cup, and win that too.

TWIRLING CANDY FOR THE WIN!!!!!

First Dude Second, Gladding third.

04 Mar 2011 11:24 PM
Deacon

Gun Bow: I must have had a freudian slip, I knew that, wow I'm losing it. Thanks for reminding me. When you're over 60 a person needs a jolt once in awhile.

Linda In Texas:  Thank you for the nice words. I spent a lot of years at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park back in the day, saw many of the great ones run. Great memories.

04 Mar 2011 11:46 PM
Matthew W

I like Soul Candy--Twirling Candy will get plenty of company up front--we'll see if he can relax for five furlongs--he'll have to--1 1/4 is a good "bet against" angle when it's a situation where there's more speed and longer distance than the preceeding "cakewalk" race--Soul Candy makes his first start ever on dirt--his prep, vs Caracortado/Usual Q T, was against real class horses--and he was closing fastest on them--his works have been progressively better and 2nd time GoGo--he'll be a big price--I love him/will play him W/P/S and box with Twirling Candy--and, yes, Deacon, once upon a time in Racing, this weekend would be "Big Cap Weekend", and everybody would be abuzz with their Big Cap picks....

05 Mar 2011 1:55 AM
brhager

I love Soul Candy, especially with Gomez on board but I cannot get past the fact that he is turf horse.

So your best shot, long shot is...... *SPURRIER*. What's not to like? He's ran on the track twice this year, he's always in the money and he's a closer. (closer = fun). I would stay away from the win and place bets and go heavy down on the show ticket.

05 Mar 2011 7:36 AM
trackjack

Twirling Candy to win.

Do the Candy/Dude EX BOX:

Twirling Candy, Soul Candy, First Dude, Game On Dude.

Good Luck!

05 Mar 2011 8:51 AM
Pedigree Ann

Householder - I came into the game in time to see  Ack Ack's championship campaign and to fall in love with His Felinity, Cougar II. Just missed Nodouble. All the classic winners who were sound went on to race at 4, never a question. Personality, Dust Commander (who raced 14 times at 2), Canonero, Riva Ridge, Bee Bee Bee (beat Riva in the slop at Pimlico), all raced at 4, even if they weren't as successful as they had been at 3. Secretariat was the first big jolt to the system.

I remember the first Strub I attended. Smog was so thick you could barely see the full starting gate up in the chute (it was a real race then at 10f). The Travers winner Loud from the Haggin Perry barn was there, but in the end it was two Calbred noses on the wire, the Del Mar Derby winner War Heim and the Hollywood Derby (10f dirt) winner Hanalei Bay, one of the most beautiful horses I've ever seen. Hanalei Bay had a habit of losing the close ones and he did so again here.

War Heim's sire was the amusingly named Slipped Disc, who was by Decathlon out of Aching Back.

05 Mar 2011 9:32 AM
Pedigree Ann

I would like to point out to people that the ability to get 9f like a champion is no guarantee said horse will run the same way at 10f. It may be only a furlong longer, but it has been historically the distance that separated the talented milers from the true classic horses. One sees it over and over again, from Olympia to Quality Road.

Twirling Candy has the pedigree to go longer than 9f, no question. Candy Ride ran by Medaglia d'Oro to win the Pacific Classic with dismissive ease and the damline is stout as can be; third dam Crownette was by Seattle Slew out of an Alydar half-sister to Affirmed. Danzig cross adds some brilliance, Chester House some quality.

However, let me remind you of the words of Harvey Pack - never bet a horse as a favorite, especially a heavy favorite, when it is doing something for the first time (2 turns, new surface, etc.).

05 Mar 2011 9:53 AM
street sense

first dude is a money burner he could not win the pa derby against his on age.1 twirling candy 2.setsuko 3.aggie engineer

05 Mar 2011 10:47 AM
jerry daker

I think the move to baffert, was a smart move. First Dude now or never...

05 Mar 2011 11:18 AM
Reszkak

I like Game on Dude.  If he goes off over 10-1 like the morning line, I'm going all in.  

05 Mar 2011 11:51 AM
Emilton-Dominican Republic

Maybe Twirling Candy has to prove that he deserves to be called the "Best Horse of the Country"..but look at his record; the only race hi didn't win was the only race that Joel Rosario didn't ride him, that day "The best Jokey of the country" had to go to take over the  Alabama Stakes on Blind Luck...So, the next Twirling Candy's race will be the perfect combination: THE BEST JOCKEY OF THE COUNTRY ON THE BEST HORSE OF THE COUNTRY

05 Mar 2011 2:11 PM
SPLITSOF12

Deacon,

Urgent Request was an absolute speed freak. But he was also a basket case. You never knew which horse was going to show up. I remember once before a race, the big grey was all lathered up in sweat, throwing back kicks and rocking his head up and down. He got himself so worked up before the race, that when they left the gate, he shot out like a quarter horse, and went 22.0, 45.0, 1:09, without even taking a breath. He was rank as all get up, yet he still managed to conjure up a 15 length lead. As he made the turn for home, in one fell swoop his lead vanished and the stretch-runners inhaled him like a bad habit. He lost by thirty lengths.

Now lets fast-forward to that day in 1995 when he won the Santa Anita Big Cap, running a final time of 1:59 2/5. On this day, I remember him being nice and relaxed in the paddock, which was unheard of at the time for this headcase of a horse. I looked at his odds and they were around 10-1.  When he came out onto the track, he started rocking his head up and down and I thought to myself, oh no, not this again. But something was different about Urgent Request. He wasn't sweating, he wasn't kicking, he just looked confident.  

The Irish bred, Urgent Request, shot off like a like a rocket that day in the 1995 Big Cap. He set blistering fractions almost identical to the ones I'd mentioned in his previous race. He was collared by Del Mar Dennis for most of the race. When the two horses straightened up and made the turn for home, DDD, had a head in front but was all out. Jockey Gary Stevens still had some reign left, and knew he would need every last bit of it, if he was going to hold off the stretch-runners Dare and Go, and the chiseled veteran Best Pal. As BP uncorked his devastating late run, he was catching UR with every stride. It looked like Urgent was about to get gobbled like a Thanksgiving Day Turkey. But instead, his tail got erect and he re-kicked for Gary Stevens at the 1/16th pole and had just enough juice to hold off Best Pal for the win. After the race I looked at the board excited to think I just hit a 10-1 shot but it read 3-1. I scratched my head, thinking, who hammered him down at the last minute like that. Well, it turns out it was his owner, who put $90,000 on him to win, as well as $30,000 to show. Perhaps Twirling Candy can run a 22.0, 45.0, 1:09 and keep going like Urgent Request did that day.      

05 Mar 2011 2:20 PM
skyfire

Pedigree Ann, good point about the dearth of competition in handicap division.   It is so expensive to race these days that I can't blame owners that retire horses for the bucks; however, I would have loved to have seen LOL, my pick in the BC, race this year.  I think he would have developed to be even better at 4 and 5.   At least he is safe and sound at stud.

I mentioned Kelso, the great handicapper; he was before my time, but I am a huge fan of the horses of the 60's, my favorite decade - the quote was paired with a front picture of Kelso, about 10 lengths in front of the field.  I think it is one of his Jockey Club Gold Cups.  I love the great geldings, Kelso, Forego  and John Henry.  Tough, tough horses in the handicap division!!

That said, go Twirling Candy -- Lane's End bought into him, so he will probably be wisked of  to stud this year also.

Yes, Stay Thirsty -- good first race back.

05 Mar 2011 5:36 PM
Bill Daly

Reszkak and Fran Lodzynski, you guys are buying tonight!  Great handicapping and congratulations.  That being said, I think the stewards are out of their minds. I heard the steward's explanation and I'm not buying it. I don't think Twirling Candy interfered enough [if at all] with Game On Dude to blame that mess on him.  Just incredible.They'll be talking about this one for years.  And they took down Perrault!  Go figure.

05 Mar 2011 8:54 PM
SPLITSOF12

Twirling Candy had a rough day today. I hyped him up pretty good and he made me look pretty stupid on here and other blogs. All I can say is kudos to Chantal Sutherland and her mount Game on Dude for hanging in there after that bumper car ride in the stretch. They were tenacious enough to overcome it, wand still able to hold off a hard charging Setsuko, for the win.  

05 Mar 2011 8:54 PM
Pedigree Ann

Great call Reszkak! I only picked him for second, behind (gag) Spurrier. Hope you raked in a bundle.

05 Mar 2011 8:56 PM
Ranagulzion

Twirling Candy got roughed up in more ways than one, finishing worse than I expected.  I picked the wrong dude, First Dud (LOL) but the race showed that TC is by no stretch of the immagination the top horse in America at this time.  A fit Sidney's Candy is the better horse of the two candies, on any surface at any distance.

05 Mar 2011 9:20 PM
James Mc

Actually Emilton-Dominican Republic, Rosario is in a virtual tie for about the 12th best jockey in the country. As I have posted repeatedly on other sites, the stooge should've taken Twirling Candy to the front, IMMEDIATELY. Instead, he nursed him off a tepid pace and got slammed around like a pinball. Fairly predictable he'd get a rough trip, given all of the Baffert horses entered.

Rosario was a pure loser in the Big Cap, he didn't help the horse one iota. He's just as consistent/inconsistent as about 20 other jockeys riding right now, no better, no worse. He is nothing special.

05 Mar 2011 9:50 PM
mark

Well another uneventful day with california racing proving without a shadow of doubt that gameondude should have been taken down in very handicappers eyes and trainers eyes and most important the fans. This handicapper i will say this Mr.Mandella was really robbed from this years big gap.With all eyes on twirling candy and everyhandicapper saying he is the biggest star coming up in the ranks for older horses.No one would even dwell what has happen but i feel that the fans and the wonderful racing of old santa anita has long been loss.With we has fans of old and new the average takeouts been raised and even their own stewards couldnt even make the right call just to please baffert.I felt that the luster of old santa anita has been lost but management must first and foremost look at the fans we are the ones that bring our dollars into california racing.

But to make it clear i did like setsuko

My pick was in bloodhorse

mark 03 Mar 2011 1:57 PM

Twirling Candy good hard knocking race horse with alot of kick.But the question on my mind is the layoff is he going to need a race before getting back into winning ways.I have alot of ways to handicapp this race like everyone else.But it seems a little strange to me that top trainers like Bob Baffert, J W Sadler and P Gallagher sends out nearly 70 percent of the entrants in this years Santa Anita Handicap.With Twirling Candy and jockey J Rosario with a target on their backs and top trainers sending out uncoupled entry to feel this years feild.I look elsewhere to make a profit and here is the horse i like

pros and cons

Setsuko (KY) and jockey V Espinoza

been working steadly for this spot and trainer R E Mandella loves his workout times so is sittng on a win

pros

good decent win and jock percentage

been workingout like a good horse

Good long striding colt

Cons

has no focus

givesup on the fight factor

has been beaten by most of the feild combine 12 lenghts

Value play

I will be buying him too win

also will be placing him over on top with exacta s and tri see what happens at 20-1 or better i love live longshots if V Espinoza can keep him moving and the weight 112 he will be carrying less than 10 pounds from Twirling Candy may make him a winner good luck all and remember we are the fans that keep racing going

06 Mar 2011 12:34 AM
Gladiator

Wow! Somebody muzzle that Babbling Bob Baffert. He says " TC was tired and done at the top of the stretch...Really? Really Bob? TC was flying and trying to split between 2 horses when he was banged around like a pin ball. After that, he was done. TC had a nightmare trip and was still coming on until all of the comotion happened.  I have to admit that Game on Dude ran a great race. But I will hold judgement on TC until his next race.

06 Mar 2011 1:28 AM
Rechelle

I can't believe how much of a sore loser Victor Espinoza is being!  To say that his horse did nothing wrong is insane.  To be fair, he certainly didn't help Twirling Candy being a pinball going into the stretch, but to say the 3 stewards were wrong is ludicrous!  Chantal & Joel ran great races today and it's a damn miracle that none of the horses involved went down. Chantal rode a helluva race today and she deserved her victory!  I think Game On Dude is going to improve as the season goes on!  But Victor is being just as much of an egotistical sore loser as Javier Castellano acted after the BC Marathon! They both need to get their over inflated egos in check, it adds too much weight to the horse!

06 Mar 2011 2:41 AM
GunBow

I had serious reservations about Twirling Candy, but I was still disappointed with the way he ran.  I guess part of me was hoping for something special.

What I got instead was an exciting, fascinating, crazy race that will be remembered for years.  Game on Dude was my 4th choice, and I came awy from his performance impressed.  He's not a great horse but he has quality and is now a gr.1 winner at 10 furlongs.  How many horses can claim that?

The inquiry will be long disputed.  I guess I can't blame the stewards for keeping Game on Dude up, but I wouldn't have blamed them had they not.  However, having been at Santa Anita for The Wicked North's dq in 94', I guess I am a little surprised the result was allowed to stand.  The key, it appears, was that Twirling Candy initiated the bumping.

Didn't have Setsuko on my radar at all, but the horse ran well.  He displayed surprising tactical speed and then turned it into a test of endurance.  He undoubtedly was not aided by the bumping, but the fact is he was able to take the lead deep in the stretch after the bumping, only to let Game on Dude come back.  There's a reason Setsuko has won only 1 race.

I aslo didn't have Quindici Man in my super.  The horse, however, is 90% in the money on dirt for his career and clearly likes longer distances.

Soul Candy, a horse I did like, rallied moderately for 4th, with Twirling Candy 5th, and First Dude 6th.  

06 Mar 2011 5:49 AM
Pedigree Ann

Bill Daly,

HRTV showed the head-on numerous times and when I put a straight-edge up to the screen, Game On Dude never left it until he was hit by Twirling Candy. All three came wide off the turn and as they straightened, it looked like Twirling Candy came out a bit and brushed with Setsuko; he bounced off that one and his shoulder went into Game on Dude's rump, unbalancing him and setting off the more obvious bumping. When a horse's rear end is moved off center, the front end will compensate by moving off center in the opposite direction. Twirling Candy started the mess.

This, by the way, is exactly what Gary Stevens described right after his first viewing the head-on of the incident.

And I thought Stardust Mel should have come down for bumping Out of the East in '75. Saw Shoe as he was coming through the tunnel afterwards; his tight little smile told me he knew he had dodged a bullet.

06 Mar 2011 9:32 AM
Love 'em all

Congrats to Game on Dude, Setsuko and Quindici Man.  Had them in the right order of finish, but had them finishing as 7th, 8th and 9th.  lol  

Hope TC comes out of this with just his pride being hurt.  Ouch!  That was a rough ride.

06 Mar 2011 12:31 PM
Bill Daly

Pedigree Ann, thank you for your explanation.  I simply cannot see Twirling Candy's shoulder bouncing or brushing Game On Dude's rump.  I did see Sutherland whipping left handed and her horse bore out noticeably into Twirling Candy.  How the stews can overlook that is amazing.

06 Mar 2011 6:04 PM
Rachel

I still got tears in my eyes this morning, though, at the poor sportsmanship toward Chantal...

07 Mar 2011 5:58 AM
Forbidden Apple

Rachel,

And what about the feelings of Rosario and Espinoza? Let me guess, their feelings don't matter because they are men.

08 Mar 2011 10:10 PM

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