08/13/2014 1:34PM

Mr. Candy on path to British Columbia Derby


VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Mr. Candy could earn his way into the $150,000, Grade 3 British Columbia Derby with a win in the sixth race Friday at Hastings. The son of Candy Ride likely will be a short price in the first-level allowance race for 3-year-olds going 6 1/2 furlongs.

One of the reasons for the short price is that he will be making his first start for trainer Anita Bolton, who is winning races at a 45 percent clip at the meet. Mr. Candy won a maiden special weight race when he debuted at Gulfstream last November, so he also won’t mind the move back to dirt after running over Polytrack at Woodbine in his last two starts.

He also showed a liking for the Hastings surface when he worked an impressive five furlongs in 58.80 seconds Aug. 7.

“He seems to like it here,” Bolton said. “He’s obviously been working well enough.”

[Hastings: Get PPs, watch Friday's card live]

Mr. Candy also has the pedigree to be a decent horse. He is a half-brother to Belle Gallantey, who recently upset Princess of Sylmar in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap. Belle Gallantey actually started her career at Hastings for trainer Troy Taylor as a 2-year-old in 2011. She didn’t win, but she did finish third in the $75,000 Fantasy. She was claimed from owner Glen Todd when she ran in a $30,000 maiden-claiming race at Santa Anita in her first start outside of Vancouver. She was just another horse until trainer Rudy Rodriguez claimed her for $35,000 last Dec. 19.

Mr. Candy is coming off a fourth-place finish in a first-level allowance race at Woodbine. Niigon Express, who finished second, came back with a good race in the $1 million Queen’s Plate, finishing fifth despite getting off to a poor start. Mr. Candy has never sprinted, but Bolton thinks he won’t mind the cutback in distance.

“He worked 58 and change, so he’s obviously pretty fast,” said Bolton.

Mr. Candy has the right kind of style for running at Hastings. He has good speed but can stalk. Adding to his appeal for his first start here is the presence of leading rider Amadeo Perez.