Paul and Karen Eggert's homebred Ollie's Candy pulled a 4-1 upset of Sunday's Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch, defeating 6-5 favorite and former Grade 1 winner Secret Spice by a game head on the wire. The 4-year-old Candy Ride filly, ridden by Kent Desormeaux for trainer John Sadler, covered 1 1/16 miles over Del Mar's fast main track in 1:44.66.
The win earns Ollie's Candy an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders' Cup Distaff this fall at Santa Anita.
Ollie's Candy and Queen Bee To You went winging out of the starting gate together, setting early fractions of :23.05 and :46.68. That pair were about three lengths ahead of Secret Spice and Paradise Woods down the backstretch, while La Force trailed the field in the early stages.
Rounding the far turn, Queen Bee To You dropped back and left Ollie's Candy all alone on a three-length lead. Secret Spice came ranging up on her outside at the head of the stretch, and the two battled all the way to the wire. At least twice it looked like Secret Spice would get by Ollie's Candy, but Ollie's Candy dug in gamely and prevailed by a head at the finish. Secret Spice had to settle for second, and La Force out-finished Paradise Woods for third.
Bred in Kentucky by her owners, Ollie's Candy is out of the G3-winning Stroll mare Afternoon Stroll. Entered in the Keeneland September Yearling sale, bidding on the filly stopped at $45,000 and her owners opted to retain her to race. She won her first three starts, including the G2 Summertime Oaks last fall at Del Mar, the filly had finished second in three of her last four starts before the Hirsch. The G1 win improves her overall record to 4-3-0 from eight starts for earnings of over $400,000.
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