Justify paddock

Fourth Oaklawn Stakes Victory for Valentine Candy

Valentine Candy (3c Justify x Taste Like Candy, by Candy Ride) returned to his winning ways on Saturday when registering his fourth stakes win of this year’s Oaklawn meet with a victory in the Bachelor Stakes.

Returning to the Oaklawn dirt after finishing fourth at Turfway last out, Valentine Candy was ready to run in the six-furlong dirt race.

He broke well but let the leader open a few lengths on him as he relaxed down the backstretch. Moving closer as they approached the turn, Valentine Candy was ready to strike going into the stretch and that was exactly what he did. Asked to pick up his pace by Ricardo Santana Jr., he chased down the leader and won by 1 ½ lengths as the heavy race favorite.

Trained by Steve Asmussen for William and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Jackpot Farm, Whispering Oaks Farm, and Coteau Grove Farms, he was bred by Pine Creek. This is the fifth win and seventh top three finish in nine starts for Valentine Candy.

His dam is the Grade I placed Taste Like Candy, who herself is a half-sister to the stakes winning Southern Success and to the dam of American Pharoah’s stakes placed Prince of Pharoahs. His granddam is a half-sister to multiple Grade I winner Affirmed Success as well.

Justify has sired at least one stakes winner each weekend in April and not only has two runners in the Grade I Kentucky Derby and one in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, but also has the favorited City of Troy in England’s Group I 2000 Guineas and Ramatuelle in the Group I 1000 Guineas next weekend.