ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Danzing Candy won the $58,000 feature by 5 3/4 lengths Thursday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Danzing Candy ran a mile in 1:36.73 and paid $4.20, $3.20 and $2.80 as the even-money favorite in the field of nine. The 3-year-old colt has been nominated for this spring's Triple Crown races.
French Getaway returned $5.40 and $3.60, while Semper Fortis was another head back in third and paid $7 to show.
Smith hustled Danzing Candy to a contending position before they took the lead approaching the three-quarters pole. The colt opened up on the competition turning for home to win easily in just his third career start.
''I like him a lot,'' Smith said. ''Once he starts (breaking) better, then we can place him and then I think he'll really be nice. He doesn't have to be in front. I'm having to kind of use him there early and it puts him on the lead, but I don't really want to be there.''
The Kentucky-bred colt earned $34,800 for the victory, giving him $68,650 for his career.
Trainer Cliff Sise said Danzing Candy would be pointed toward the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes on March 12.