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Carnival Rides: Candy Boy


CARNIVAL RIDES: Getting to Know the #DWCCarnival Stars

AGE: 7
SIRE: Candy Ride
DAM: She’s An Eleven (In Excess)
TRAINER: Doug Watson
OWNER: Ramzan Kadyrov
BREEDER: Lee & Susan Searing (Kentucky, USA)
EARNINGS: US$1,286,800
POSSIBLE NEXT RACE: Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G1) (10th March)

HIGHLIGHTS: Won, placed or raced competitively in multiple Grade/Group races on two continents, including: 2013 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2, 1st), 2013 CashCall Futurity-G1 (G1, 2nd), 2014 Santa Anita Derby (G1, 3rd), 2015 Dubai World Cup (G1, 4th), 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1, 6th) and 2016 Dubai World Cup (G1, 7th).

BACKGROUND: The proverbial ‘comeback kid,’ Candy Boy has had a bittersweet career. Racing sparingly over the last few years, he has shown his immense talent against the very best since he began his career in 2013. After yet another setback and being eased because of injury in his last race (December 2016), he is on the verge of yet another resurgence.

A Grade 1-placed 2-year-old, he raced against the best of the best in the United States during his 3-year-old year, including a win in the Robert B. Lewis (G2). He also placed in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), Los Alamitos Derby (G2) and West Virginia Derby (G3), competed in the Kentucky Derby (G1, 13th) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1, 6th) and held his own multiple times against superstars California Chrome and Shared Belief while under the tutelage of decorated conditioner John Sadler for owner C R K Stable.

Purchased and sent to Dubai and the yard of top UAE trainer Doug Watson, he has fought physical issues, but raced exceedingly well considering such trials. In 2015, in his first start for Watson, he shrugged off a five-month layoff and faced the planet’s top racehorses when a strong fourth in the Dubai World Cup (G1) behind Prince Bishop, California Chrome and Lea. Off another year after a series of small physical issues, his connections tried again in California Chrome’s Dubai World Cup (G1), where he was a fine 7th in a blanket photo-finish with the likes of Frosted and Mshawish, while finishing ahead of Keen Ice.

Candy Boy is now training well and appears healthy and happy enough to have Watson excited for a possible third try in the US$10-million main event. If he makes it into the race, an astonishing three of his previous four starts would have taken place in the iconic 2000m test.

“We got him really late originally,” Watson said. “He was not going to be ready for a prep, so we went straight to the World Cup and then again the next year. He ran big each time and was a couple jumps from placing.

“Right now, he’s doing extremely well and we are getting there with him,” Watson continued. “I knew I wasn’t going to make the second leg of the Al Maktoum Challenge, so we decided to just point for the third. I am very happy with him. He’s always been very talented.”

PERSONALITY: “He’s kind of a no-nonsense kind of horse more than anything. He’s not mean, but he kind of likes to be left alone. He’s a big horse who is easy to handle while training and walking the barn, but once he’s in his stall, he has done enough for the day and likes his space. He really doesn’t have any quirks.” – Watson

STRENGTHS: “He has this long, beautiful stride. He comes out there and does his job and loves to train.” – Watson

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