Pletcher Looking To Get G1 Winner Candied Back on Track in Lady’s Secret

June 7, 2024

Candied (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Tom Luicci/Monmouth Park

OCEANPORT, N.J. – Even though it has only been seven weeks since Candied last ran it feels more like a racing eternity to Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher because of the plans he had for the Grade 1 winner.

Following a fourth-place finish in her 3-year-old debut in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes on April 5, the next stop was supposed to be the Kentucky Oaks. But those plans were scuttled due to a foot issue, forcing Pletcher to call an audible.

So Candied will go instead in Saturday’s $100,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park, with the ultimate goal being the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga on July 20.

A field of seven is entered for the Lady’s Secret, which will be contested at a mile and a sixteenth for fillies and mares 3 and up.

And while Candied, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Candy Ride-Toni Tools by Roaring Fever, is the only Grade 1 winner in the field she is also the only 3-year-old in the race.

Pletcher considered running her in today’s Grade 1 Acorn Stakes against her age group at Saratoga but opted for the Monmouth Park race instead.

“We didn’t feel like we were quite ready for the mile and an eighth against those fillies,” Pletcher said of the Acorn Stakes. “We needed another race to be ready for the Coaching Club.

“It’s not ideal running against older mares, but we need to run.”

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Candied was a standout at 2, winning her debut at Saratoga and then following that with a victory in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland.

She was then third, beaten three-quarters of length by Just F Y I, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies in her final 2023 start.

Pletcher then brought her back on April 5 at Keeneland in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes, where she finished fourth. That marked her third straight race against Grade 1 company.

“I thought it was pretty good,” Pletcher said of her Ashland race. “She has a habit of not changing leads and kind of got to wandering around a little bit. I think she just got tired the last 50 or 60 yards.”

With two wins and a third from her four career starts Candied has banked $624,675.

Joe Bravo is listed to ride.

The Lady’s Secret field includes the Saffie Joseph, Jr.-trained Honor D Lady, a multiple Grade 3 winner, Ocean Gateway, who brings a four-race winning streak for trainer Christophe Clement and the Brittany Russell-trained Saddle Up Jessie.

Sunset Louise, Jungle Juice and Frost O Toole round out the field for the feature race.

@jonathanstettin & @Tracking_Trips perfect 3/3, this one at 4-1. Didn't know being stupid, humble, & an inferior player could feel so good 💰💰💰

Kevin West @KFWest003 View testimonials

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