10/30/2010 8:49PM

Soul Candy relishes switch to synthetic surface in Cal Cup Classic

Benoit & Associates
Bruce's Dream goes for the biggest victory of his career in the Citation on Saturday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The stamina in Soul Candy carried the 4-year-old gelding to his first career stakes win in Saturday’s $150,000 California Cup Classic at Hollywood Park.

Making his first start on a synthetic main track, and the 10th start of his career, Soul Candy ($12.40) rallied from last in a field of eight to win the richest race on the 10-race California Cup program by 1 1/4 lengths over Unusual Suspect. Enriched, the 7-5 favorite, could only finish third after leading by a length with a furlong remaining.

Soul Candy was timed for 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.94 under jockey Rafael Bejarano. The Cal Cup Classic was Soul Candy’s second appearance in a stakes. He was fifth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf on Aug. 29.

The transition to a synthetic track was not a difficult one, trainer Paddy Gallagher said.

“It was easy to take a shot going a mile and an eighth,” Gallagher said. “He’s trained well on the track and it’s not such a big deal. If it were dirt, it would be different.”

Soul Candy made progress through the last five furlongs to be fourth with a furlong remaining, trailing the-leader Enriched by 2 1/2 lengths. Lodi Red had set a pace of 23.69 and 48.16 seconds, and Gallagher thought that was honest enough to help Soul Candy.

“He keeps going steady,” Gallagher said. “He doesn’t have a turn of foot and they went a nice pace.”

Owned by breeder Cal Fischer’s Madera Thoroughbreds and E Z Eight Racing Stable, Soul Candy has won 4 of 10 starts and $205,300. He has won three of his last four starts since late May, including optional claimer races for statebreds and against open company.

Bruce’s Dream barely overtakes Colgan’s Chip

Outside of graded stakes, Bruce’s Dream is perfect.

The 4-year-old Bruce’s Dream won his sixth race in eight starts in Saturday’s $100,000 California Cup Mile, catching Colgan’s Chip in the final 50 yards to win the turf race by a neck.

Bruce’s Dream’s two career losses were a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Morvich Handicap at Santa Anita in September 2009 and a third in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile on Aug. 28. His other races have been wins, including the California Dreamin’ Handicap for statebreds at Del Mar in July.

“The horse just wants to win,” trainer Mike Puype said.

Bruce’s Dream ($5.20) gave jockey Joe Talamo his fourth win of Saturday’s Cal Cup program. Talamo had Bruce’s Dream in fifth for the first six furlongs, well off the pace of 23.58 and 46.84 seconds set by Colgan’s Chip.

Turning for home, Colgan’s Chip had a one-length lead, but Bruce’s Dream was rallying four-wide under Talamo. The margin was out to 2 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining, but Bruce’s Dream was running best on the outside. Bruce’s Dream finished in 1:34.37. Liberian Freighter, the winner of the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile here on Oct. 9, finished third, but was 4 1/2 lengths behind Colgan’s Chip.

The close finish between Bruce’s Dream and Colgan’s Chip was aesthetically pleasing - both horses are gray.

Owned by the Corwin family, Bruce’s Dream has earned $293,940. Bruce’s Dream could start in the Grade 1 Citation Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf on Nov. 27.

“I’d like to see what he’s got,” owner David Corwin said. “We’ve protected him well.”