09/24/2010 3:36PM

Smith to ride Twirling Candy in Goodwood

Benoit & Associates
Twirling Candy will have a new rider - Mike Smith - in the Goodwood Stakes.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride the undefeated 3-year-old Twirling Candy for the first time in the $250,000 Goodwood Stakes at Hollywood Park next Saturday, replacing Joel Rosario, who rides in Pennsylvania that day.

Smith had the option of riding Richard’s Kid, winner of the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 28, in the Goodwood, but was asked by trainer John Sadler to ride Twirling Candy, who is owned by Jenny Craig.

“I approached him,” Sadler said.

Trainer Bob Baffert said Alonso Quinonez will have the mount on Richard’s Kid.

Sadler said Smith will work Twirling Candy on Sunday. For Smith, the mount on Twirling Candy may be a one-race commitment. If Twirling Candy wins the Goodwood, he would be considered for the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6. Smith is already booked to ride defending champion Zenyatta in that race. Zenyatta, unbeaten in 18 starts, will attempt to stretch her winning streak in the $250,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes at Hollywood Park on Oct. 2.

Twirling Candy will make his stakes debut against older horses in the Goodwood, which is run over 1 1/8 miles and is one of four Grade 1 stakes on the first Saturday of the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting.

Twirling Candy has won two sprints on Hollywood Park’s main track – a maiden race and an optional claimer – and ran on turf at Del Mar, winning the Oceanside Stakes and the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 5. In the latter race, he ducked out badly on the backstretch while leading and maintained that advantage to win by 3 1/4 lengths.

On Friday, Sadler’s focus was on the Goodwood and not the BC Classic.

“I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself,” he said.

Richard’s Kid ended a three-race losing streak with a three-quarter-length win in the Pacific Classic, closing from ninth in a field of 10. Baffert said Friday that Quinonez will fit the 5-year-old horse.

Quinonez “likes to come from off the pace and he should suit him,” Baffert said. “The horse needs someone who is patient like that.”

The Goodwood field also is expected to include Awesome Gem, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 10 who was last in the Pacific Classic; Dakota Phone, who was third in the Pacific Classic; Sangaree, who was seventh in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 31; and Informed, who was fourth in the Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 4.

On Saturday, Rosario will ride Blind Luck in the Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing, the track formerly known as Philadelphia Park.

Small field likely for Lady’s Secret

Zenyatta may not have many rivals in the Lady’s Secret Stakes, which is run over 1 1/16 miles.

Possible opponents include Emmy Darling, a stakes winner in 2008 who was claimed for $62,500 from a win in a one-mile optional claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 19; Moon de French, the Baffert-trained winner of the Adoration Stakes on Sept. 5; and possibly Zardana who has not raced since finishing third to Zenyatta in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 13.

Zenyatta has made one subsequent start since the Vanity, winning the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar for the third consecutive year on Aug. 7.

Evening Jewel eyes Filly and Mare Sprint

The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5 may be in the long-range plans for Evening Jewel, winner of four graded stakes this year.

Trainer Jim Cassidy said that Evening Jewel is being pointed to the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 16 and then could cut back in distance for the seven-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint.

Cassidy said that the Filly and Mare Sprint is preferred to the Ladies’ Classic, which may feature reigning Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and Blind Luck, the nation’s leading 3-year-old filly who beat Evening Jewel by a nose in the Kentucky Oaks in April.

“I wouldn’t run her against Rachel Alexandra and Blind Luck,” Cassidy said. “I’d like to try the sprint. People don’t realize how fast she is. I think she’s a stayer, but she has speed.”

Cassidy said that The Usual Q.T., the multiple stakes winner who was second in the Woodbine Mile in Canada on Sept. 19, is a candidate for the BC Mile on Nov. 6. The Usual Q.T. led in the stretch of that race and finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Court Vision.

“He had a terrible trip,” Cassidy said. “He was six wide and in the middle of horses.”

◗ Boxeur des Reus, winner of a maiden race on the Polytrack at Kempton Park in England on Sept. 3 in his career debut, has been purchased privately by Paul Reddam and has joined trainer Doug O’Neill stable. Boxeur des Reus is being pointed to the $250,000 Norfolk Stakes over 1 1/16 miles next Saturday.