Mr. Candy Bar Favored in Fitzsimmons Mile
Mr. Candy Bar looks to start the New Year in a big way Saturday, when he'll tackle nine other starters as the 7-2 morning line favorite in the $75,000 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Handicap at Turf Paradise.
Our 4-year-old son of Candy Ride has an outside post 10 to overcome in the one-mile turf event, and will carry 119 pounds under jockey Scott Stevens, who inherits the mount after jockey Antongeorgi III opted to remain at Golden Gate that afternoon.
“He’s just coming back off a collarbone injury but he rides for a lot of the top guys at Turf Paradise and won a stakes race last weekend,” OJ said. “I’m very confident in his ability and in the fact that Mr. Candy Bar is ready to roll.”
OJ caught his final prep for this season debut last Sunday, a three-furlong work at Golden Gate, in 36.40 - two seconds faster than the official clocker’s time of 38.40.
Mr. Candy Bar attempts to leverage three solid allowance performances from the end of 2011 into victory this year. Last time out on Nov. 17, he finished third at Golden Gate. Two previous attempts resulted in runner-up finishes, with the most recent victory coming Aug. 13 in the Robert Dupret Derby at Santa Rosa.
Our runner shipped by van uneventfully to Turf Paradise with his groom last Sunday to take up temporary residence in the barn of trainer Miguel Silva, O.J.’s colleague. O.J. arrived at Turf Paradise Wednesday, and has been supervising Mr. Candy Bar’s light exercise to stretch his legs all week.
The Fitzsimmons Mile is carded as race eight on a nine-race card, with an approximate post time of 3:46 p.m. PT.