05/28/2017 8:10PM

Danzing Candy proves uncatchable in Lone Star Handicap


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Danzing Candy led throughout for a 4 3/4-length win over Texas Chrome in the Grade 3, $200,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on Sunday, and in the process gave Hall of Fame horsemen Bob Baffert and Mike Smith a sweep of the two richest races of the meet. Earlier this month, the trainer-jockey team captured the Grade 3, $200,000 Steve Sexton Mile with Mor Spirit.

Baffert has now won the Lone Star Park Handicap a record three times. He previously captured the race in 2002 with Congaree and again in 2007 with Bob and John. The win Sunday was the 21st Lone Star stakes victory for Baffert. 

Smith put Danzing Candy ($2.60) on the best part of the muddy, sealed track, situating the horse a few paths off the rail while taking the field through an opening quarter-mile in 24.26 seconds. Danzing Candy continued to remain in control of the race through a half-mile in 47.97 and six furlongs in 1:12.01. He increased his advantage through the stretch and went on to win the1 1/16- mile race in hand in 1:43.01.

“There was a whole lot to him today,” said Smith.

Smith was aboard for the ownership of Halo Farms and Jim and Dianne Bashor.  Danzing Candy was winning the second stakes race of his career, behind the Grade 2 San Felipe last year at 3. He came into the Lone Star Park Handicap off a Santa Anita allowance win for which he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 105.

Baffert said last week a long-range goal for the horse is the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

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Danzing Candy started as the 121-pound co-highweight with Texas Chrome. Shotgun Kowboy finished third, and was followed under the wire by Neck 'n Neck and Carouse. 

Danzing Candy, a son of Twirling Candy, earned $125,000 for the win, his fifth from 10 career starts. He has now earned $550,930.

The Lone Star Park Handicap was the third leg of a 50-cent pick four on races 7-10 that returned $710.40. The winning numbers were 8-6-1-12. There was a minimum guaranteed pool of $25,000 and the final pool was $92,827.

The card Sunday also featured the inductions of Cliff Berry, G.R. Carter, and the late Steve Sexton into the Lone Star Park Hall of Fame. Attendance on-track was 6,048, while handle on the 10-race card from all sources was $1,158,584. ​

Racing resumes Monday at 2:35 p.m. Central.