May 27, 2024

Candied zooms past more experienced rivals to win Alcibiades

Candied stepped up from her debut win to capture the Alcibiades (Photo by Coady Photography/Keeneland)

What Candied lacked in relative experience she more than made up with talent by impressively taking Friday’s $600,000 Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland in only her second lifetime start.

Settled in midpack down the backside under Luis Saez, Candied made a sweeping, four-wide move into contention approaching the turn for home, rolled past 7-5 favorite V V’s Dream in upper stretch and landed the 1 1/16-mile fixture by one length.

“I thought she had the talent to do it, I was just concerned about the seasoning,” said Todd Pletcher, who trains the juvenile for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. “(Luis) has been pretty high on her since the first day he worked her at Saratoga. We’re happy to see her meet expectations.”

A debut winner at Saratoga by three parts of a length going six furlongs on Aug. 20, Candied returned $10.16 after completing one lap of the fast Keeneland track in 1:44.17.

V V’s Dream, entering off a dominating win in the Pocahontas (G3) at Churchill Downs, finished second by 5 3/4 lengths over Alys Beach, who edged Shimmering Allure for third by a head. Spinaway (G1) winner Brightwork suffered her first career loss in five starts in finishing fifth and was followed by Crazy Cami, Alpine Princess, and Wine On Tap.

Candied earned a fees-paid berth to next month’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita with the Alcibiades win. She also secured 10 qualifying points toward the 2024 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill. V V’s Dream earned five Oaks points, bringing her total to 15. Alys Beach earned three points, Shimmering Allure two points, and Brightwork one point.

Bred in Kentucky by Buck Pond Farm, Candied is by Candy Ride and out of stakes-winning Toni Tools, by Roaring Fever. She sold for $165,000 at the Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale.