08/09/2013 4:05PM

Saratoga: Candy Dandy enters Saratoga Special off distinctive prep

Tom Keyser
Wired Bryan has won his first two starts impressively, including the Grade 2 Sanford last out.

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – If you’re looking for a talented 2-year-old to come out of Kentucky, trainer Steve Asmussen advises you pay attention to the six-furlong maiden race typically run late in the Churchill Downs spring meet.

“The six-furlong race the last weekend of the meet has produced some nice horses,” Asmussen said. “I can remember winning that race with Pyro. You know it’s there, you know it’s coming, you know it’s your opportunity to go three-quarters, and you know not to do it with something that doesn’t have ability.”

Candy Dandy demonstrated his ability by winning that June 30 race by five lengths. Sunday, at Saratoga, Candy Dandy will make his second start when he runs in the Grade 2, $200,000 Saratoga Special at 6 1/2 furlongs.

The Saratoga Special, along with the Grade 2 Adirondack for 2-year-old fillies, will be shown live on NBC Sports Network during a one-hour broadcast beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern.

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After breaking on top in his debut, Candy Dandy, a son of Candy Ride, settled just off the pace under Rosie Napravnik, then came with a three-wide bid and drew clear from the field. The second- and third-place finishers from that race, Dunkin Bend and Base Case Scenario, have come back to win maiden special weight races at Saratoga.

“It was as impressive as you could want a first-time starter to win,” said Asmussen, who has won this race three times. “He’s trained nice up here. He’s gone well over the racetrack. I thought with his first race being the last day of June, the timing of this was pretty good.”

Candy Dandy will break from post 3 under Napravnik.

Wired Bryan, a New York-bred son of Stormy Atlantic, has won his first two starts impressively. He beat the Asmussen-trained Southern Blessing by 5 1/4 lengths in the Grade 2 Sanford on July 24, a race in which he was passed in upper stretch.

“He showed a lot of resolve for a horse having his second start,” trainer Michael Dilger said. “He was very professional. He went about his business very well.”

Lunarwarfare, a son of War Pass, shipped up from Florida after an impressive 6 1/2-length debut victory at Gulfstream on July 14.

Michael Yates, owner and trainer of Lunarwarfare, said the colt’s half-mile workout in 48 seconds at Calder on Aug. 2 was “the deciding factor” to ship here.

“It wasn’t so much how fast he went, it was how he did it,” Yates said. “We’re going to give it a shot. There are some nice horses in there, no doubt. We’re excited for the opportunity.”

Yates wasn’t thrilled drawing the rail.

“Certainly not going to send away from there,” Yates said. “He’ll break and see how the race unfolds.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has yet to win the Saratoga Special, sends out debut winners Corfu and Danza. Corfu, a son of Malibu Moon, is running back just 17 days after a hard-fought half-length victory in his debut. Danza, a son of Street Boss, won a 5 1/2 furlong maiden race at Belmont on July 12.

Ogermeister, who finished 15th in the 24-horse Windsor Castle Stakes at Ascot in June, returns to the United States and the dirt for trainer Wesley Ward.

Twang, who won a six-furlong maiden race here by 3 1/4 lengths on July 27, completes the field.