Updated on 09/17/2011 11:14AM

Krone will ride 'Candy'

Benoit & Associates
Candy Ride starts in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Sunday under Julie Krone.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Julie Krone has been given the mount on Candy Ride in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

Krone replaces Gary Stevens on Candy Ride, who is unbeaten in five starts and is a top contender in the Pacific Classic, a Grade 1 race run at 1 1/4 miles.

Gary Stevens rode Candy Ride in the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 4, but he is out for a month after suffering a collapsed lung when he was thrown from the back of Storming Home at the finish of the Arlington Million last Saturday.

Trainer Ron McAnally made the announcement on Wednesday morning after consulting with owners Sid and Jenny Craig.

"She's been doing good lately," McAnally said of Krone. "He's not the sort of horse that needs an aggressive rider. All he needs is a little guidance. He does all the rest."

Candy Ride began his career in Argentina, where he won three races, including two Group 1 races over about a mile on turf. He won an allowance race at Hollywood Park on dirt in his U.S. debut in June.

"The fact that he's such a talented individual and that Ron is so good with those type of horses, I'm honored to have the opportunity," Krone said.

Krone is second in the jockey standings at Del Mar. Through Monday, she trailed Patrick Valenzuela, 27-24.

Krone was a finalist for the mount along with David Flores and Mike Smith. She has never ridden Candy Ride but has ridden other horses for McAnally since ending her 3 1/2-year retirement last fall.

"I will watch videotape and learn more about him," Krone said of Candy Ride.

McAnally has been raving about Candy Ride's ability since the 4-year-old arrived from Argentina last winter.

Krone first saw Candy Ride in person earlier this year when she visited McAnally's stable at Santa Anita. Candy Ride had yet to start in the United States at that time.

"He was walking around, and I said, 'Who is this?'" Krone recalled. "Ron said, 'That's a good horse.' That was before he raced. I'd admired him from afar."

On Wednesday, McAnally said that Candy Ride has been training exceptionally well in recent weeks and has been eager to return to the racetrack.

"He came out of his last work great," McAnally said. "In his first day back to the track, he started bucking when he was in the chute."

Neither Flores nor Smith had mounts in the Pacific Classic as of midday Wednesday.

The richest race of the Del Mar meeting, the Pacific Classic is expected to have five starters, including Fleetstreet Dancer, Kudos, Medaglia d'Oro, and Milwaukee Brew. Medaglia d'Oro, the winner of the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga in his last start, will go favored. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Medaglia d'Oro, 4, won the Strub Stakes at Santa Anita and the Oaklawn Handicap at Oaklawn Park earlier this year.