Candy Boy emerged victorious and picked up 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby points system with his win in Saturday’s $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Cal. The win is his second in six career starts and first graded stakes.
Candy Boy debuted in 9th place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard. The Kentucky-bred son of Candy Ride is setting up trainer John Sadler for hopefully a sweeter trip to the Kentucky Derby than the last son of Candy Ride he took. Sadler trained Sidney’s Candy to a 17th place finish in the 2010 Kentucky Derby.
Diamond Bachelor took the early lead after the fast-running Chitu took a bad step at the start of the Robert B. Lewis. Chitu quickly recovered and fought off El Nino Terrible to gain second as the field of seven circled the track in the 1 1/16 mile route. Candy Boy and jockey Gary Stevens were content to sit off the rail just behind the leaders in fourth while favorite, Midnight Hawk, was a close third.
With just under a quarter-mile to go, Diamond Bachelor lost his lead and quickly dropped out of contention as Midnight Hawk and Chitu were there to pick up the pieces. The duel was a short battle as Candy Boy emerged on the outside and swiftly put aside Midnight Hawk. Candy Boy and Chitu continued to fight on down the lane, but Candy Boy came out on top, a half-length in front of Chitu. Midnight Hawk was another 1 ¼ lengths back in third and Diamond Bachelor held on for fourth, 4 ¼ lengths further back.