2016 Kentucky Derby Pedigrees: Danzing Candy

March 18th, 2016

With his successful stakes debut in the San Felipe (G2), Danzing Candy became the first graded winner to emerge from the first crop of Twirling Candy.

A high-class, versatile, and well-bred performer, Twirling Candy is by unbeaten Argentine champion and record-setting Pacific Classic (G1) star Candy Ride, who is also the sire of 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1) contender Gun Runner. Twirling Candy’s maternal side is no less attractive: he descends from a stakes-winning Seattle Slew mare who’s out of a half-sister to Affirmed. Himself out of House of Danzing, a daughter of Chester House (Empire Maker’s half-brother by Mr. Prospector), Twirling Candy is a full brother to last year’s Spiral (G3) winner Dubai Sky and a half-brother to 2013 Del Mar Derby (G2) scorer Ethnic Dance.

Twirling Candy inherits surface versatility from both sides of his pedigree, and he lived up to that genetic profile by winning graded stakes on dirt, turf, and synthetic. On dirt at Santa Anita, he scorched to a new track record of 1:19.70 in the seven-furlong Malibu (G1) and romped in the 1 1/8-mile Strub (G2). On turf, he rolled in the Del Mar Derby (G2) and Oceanside. On synthetic, he landed the Californian (G2) and missed narrowly in the 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) and Pacific Classic (G1).

In addition to Danzing Candy, Twirling Candy has sired sprint stakes winners Iron Rob and Twirling Cinnamon and eight black-type placed runners (as of this writing). Most notable on that list is Gift Box, third to Mohaymen in the Remsen (G2).

Danzing Candy was produced by Talkin and Singing, a daughter of the blazingly fast Songandaprayer. Although Songandaprayer won the Fountain of Youth (G1), he’s best remembered for setting the wild pace that set up the 2001 Kentucky Derby for Monarchos. Songandaprayer passed on that speed to such leading progeny as Songster and What a Song, and his daughters are responsible for current Withers (G3) hero Sunny Ridge and Grade 3-winning sprinter Brave Dave.

Because Twirling Candy and Songandaprayer are both scions of the Fappiano sire line, Danzing Candy is inbred 5x5 to him. Duplications of Fappiano are a burgeoning pattern, with Shagaf and the aforementioned Gun Runner each sporting a 4x4 inbreeding.

Note that Talkin and Singing is a half-sister to stamina-laden turf star Better Talk Now, whose five Grade 1 wins include the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). While part of that distance capacity may have come from elsewhere (his paternal grandsire With Approval), he may have also drawn upon the French influences in the maternal line he shares with Danzing Candy.

Talkin and Singing and Better Talk Now are out of the stakes-placed Bendita, by Baldski, who’s not exactly a source of stamina. But Bendita’s dam is by the stoutly-bred Bon Mot, winner of the 1966 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and from a productive French family.

Danzing Candy’s fourth dam, French stakes winner *Mandolina, is by Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud victor Ocarina and out of Prix Vermeille queen Folle Nuit. That makes her a three-quarter sister to French champion filly *Mi Carina. Others descending from this line include Stage Door Johnny, the 1968 Belmont-winning champion 3-year-old colt; noted sire Speak John; and more recently, French champion, classic winner, and four-time Group 1 hero Vision d‘Etat.

Pedigree information (products 105E & 750, respectively), courtesy of Brisnet.com.

Photo courtesy of Benoit.