Candy Kitty Returns to Turf in Sunday’s $100,000 Ginger Brew
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Candy Kitty made a most auspicious transition to Gulfstream Park’s sloppy main track when the recent $100,000 Wait a While Stakes was taken off the turf, surging from off the pace to win by 3 ½ lengths.
“We had no hesitation about running, but the surprise to me was that it was a very powerful race,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “It was a step up for her, so it will be interesting to see if the step-up was her own natural development or if it was the off track she likes, or what.”
Despite her strong main-track performance, Candy Kitty will return to action and to turf in Sunday’s $100,000 Ginger Brew at Gulfstream.
“If there were a long dirt option now, maybe we’d consider that, but she’s had success on the turf earlier and this seemed like the logical spot,” Pletcher said. “If something were to happen and it came off the turf, I certainly wouldn’t cry about that.”
Candy Kitty began her career with a runner-up finish in a Belmont Park 5-furlong sprint on dirt in June before switching to turf. The 3-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid broke her maiden at Saratoga in her third lifetime start and finished fourth in the Jessamine (G3) at Keeneland in her start prior to the Wait a While.
“I think this race will dictate what we do moving forward. If she has a strong performance on the grass, maybe she’ll have some future grass races,” Pletcher said. “If not, then we might end up back on the dirt.”Edgar Prado, who was aboard for the Wait a While triumph, has the return mount for the Ginger Brew, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes that attracted a field of 11 sophomore fillies.
Set to break from the No. 1 post Candy Kitty is rated second at 4-1 in the morning-line behind Stonetastic, the 3-1 favorite who has yet to run on turf in four lifetime starts.
Stonetastic, who worked sharply on turf at Palm Meadows in preparation for the Ginger Brew, broke his maiden at Monmouth first time out before turning in three solid efforts in graded stakes, including a second in the Pocahontas (G2) and a third in the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Corey Lanerie is slated to ride the 3-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast, who is owned by Stoneway Farm.While Stonetastic is set to make her first start on grass, Cool Faith has been entered to make her first start against fillies. The Paul Attard-trained filly’s two-race experience has come against colts at Woodbine.
“I wanted to get her on the turf, so we ran her where we could,” Attard said. “She was in a race on the turf against fillies, but it came off the turf and she was scratched. It was getting toward the end of the turf season at Woodbine, and we wanted to get her on the turf, so we chose to run her against the boys.”
Chiefswood Stable’s filly beat the boys at a mile on turf in her debut last September before returning in the $250,000 Cup & Saucer, in which she set the pace over a yielding course and lost by a nose. ‘The jump before and the jump after the wire she was ahead,” said Attard, whose filly is rated at 6-1.
“It was a tough loss, a tough way to get beat.”“She’s been training well.
Joe Bravo came up to Palm Meadows to work her and he was happy with her,” said Attard, who named Bravo to ride the daughter of Pulpit in the Ginger Brew. “She’s not a big filly, but she has a big heart.”Street Sailing is set to see her first action since running in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 1, when she finished far back after being checked twice on the first turn.
Owned by Team Valor International and Janet Grube, Street Sailing will be saddled for the first time by trainer Ralph Nicks.“She’s training well and she’s schooled well everywhere. Everything is moving forward,” Nicks said. “I think she’ll run well; she’s training well.”Spring Again, who finished second behind Candy Kitty in the Wait a While after breaking her maiden on Keeneland’s synthetic surface; Jerry Love, who is coming off a winning turf debut in a Laurel allowance; Miss Besilu, who broke her maiden in her turf debut last time out; and Wicked Temper, a maiden turf winner at Churchill Downs in her last; are also entered for the Ginger Brew.Merry Merry Bee, Super Fantasy and Needmore Flattery round out the field.