TOBOGGAN STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 3 | 6 FURLONGS
Candyman E rallied to catch pacesetter Dads Caps in deep stretch and posted his first graded stakes win in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Toboggan at Aqueduct. Claimed for $62,500 two starts previously, the seven-year-old is owned by Gold Square LLC and David Jacobson.
C.C. Lopez had the mount on the Jacobson-trained gelding, who turned six furlongs in 1:10 ⅖ on the fast inner track.
Dads Caps showed the way after the break, completing the opening quarter-mile in :22 ⅘. Candyman E was a couple of lengths back in second chasing the pacesetter down the backstretch.
After a half-mile in :45 ⅖, Dads Cap kicked for home in upper stretch and led by two lengths with a furlong remaining. But he coughed up the advantage to the oncoming Candyman E, who caught his rival a few strides from the wire and surged past to score by three-quarters of a length.
"We had a lot of confidence in Candyman E," Jacobson said. "The plan was to not let [Dads Caps] get away. Chuckie [Lopez] did a great job stalking him, staying with him, and we were able to run him down in the last few jumps.
Candyman E was exiting a narrow victory over Dads Caps in the December 13 Spooky Mulder at Aqueduct.
"I had no doubt my horse could probably beat him again, only because he beat him last time in the same fashion," Lopez said. "I knew [Dads Caps] was faster than [Candyman E]; I just tried to not give him too much of a lead. I tried to stay close to him.
"[At the top of the stretch] I hadn't gotten to my horse left-handed yet, and when I hit him left handed he went after him, and I knew he was going to win from there."
Dads Caps broke through the starting gate prior to the Spooky Mulder, but he got beat fair and square on Saturday.
"Last time, he had a little bit of an excuse when he broke through the gate," said Rudy Rodriguez, trainer of the runner-up. "The winner is a game horse."
Candyman E paid $7.10 to win as the 5-2 second choice among six rivals.
Dads Caps, the 6-5 favorite, held second by a 2 ½-length margin over Non Stop. Next came Sensational Slam, Praetereo and Bet the Power. Don Tito and Strapping Groom were both withdrawn.
Candyman E earned his first win in January 2011, capturing a maiden special weight at Gulfstream Park, but had descended into the claiming ranks a few starts later. But he concluded his four-year-old season with a victory in his stakes debut, the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash.
Last year, Candyman E captured the Bensalem at Parx Racing in March and finished third in the Grade 3 Commonwealth at Keeneland the following month. He also placed in the Kid Russell at Saratoga in August before dropping in for a claiming tag in late October at Belmont Park. His current connections haltered him from that 3 ½-length victory.
The chestnut stretch his win streak to three on Saturday and improved his overall record to 21-10-3-3, $559,413.
By Candy Ride, Candyman E was bred in Kentucky by Nelson Bunker Hunt. He is the lone stakes winner out of the Sea of Secrets mare Flo Rose 'N Net.