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BARN NOTES: January 21, 2016

  • ·        Candy My Boy A Possible New Star for Brueggemann
  • ·        Dolphus to Gulfstream Allowance
  • ·        Nickname Tops Work Tab Wrap-Up



Trainer Roger Brueggemann is not a household name in Louisiana, but the 70-year-old veteran high-percentage conditioner and Leestown, Louisiana, native has had a fruitful return home in what is his first Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots meet. Such has been spearheaded by two sharp front-running victories by Frank Mancari’s Candy My Boy, whose second of those was in Monday’s high-profile allowance/optional claiming race for sophomores. Owned by a prominent Chicago car dealership owner, the bay 3-year-old just might be ‘the one’ for his connections.

“He loves to train and can run all day,” Brueggemann said. “He’s just going to get better as he goes and I told (Mancari) that. He was tempted to sell him and it didn’t happen – and I’m glad it didn’t. He’s a talented little horse.”

A bay son of Candy Ride out of the four-time stakes-winning Include mare Runway Rosie, Candy My Boy’s career did not commence as promisingly as his pedigree suggests. Sixth on debut dashing 4½ furlongs in July and then seventh in a 7½ furlong turf route – both maiden special weights at Gulfstream Park while under the tutelage of Carlo Vaccarezza – he was then turned over to Brueggemann and dropped into a $15,000 maiden claiming event at Indiana Downs with hopes of raising his confidence.

“He’s not a sprinter, but he ran okay that day going six furlongs. I think a Brad Cox horse ran off that day and we ran an okay second. He needed blinkers and Lasix, so we gave him both of those and they helped,” Brueggemann said. “Then he ran a much better race than it looks at Churchill.”

Stepped up to maiden claiming $30,000 next out going a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs, he had a rough trip before missing by a head at the wire. The race gave Brueggemann the confidence he needed moving forward, which included a gate-to-wire mile and 70-yard maiden special weight win over WinStar Farm’s highly regarded Steve Asmussen trainee Creator on New Year’s Eve at Fair Grounds. That 2¼-length win at 16-1 was followed by Monday’s victory at 10-1 and was the third consecutive race in which his speed figures improved. Left in his wake were stakes winner Forevamo (second), and the highly regarded duo of Start a War (third) and Battle Tap (fourth).

“He’s just going to get better as he goes,” Brueggemann said. “I knew he was going to be a nice horse. He’s not a very big horse, but everything is in the right place with him.

“I don’t think he needs to have the lead,” he continued. “He ran a good race at Churchill that he could have won without all that trouble and he wasn’t on the lead that day. But, it’s probably a good thing he lost there, because it set us up to win two races here and he likes it at the Fair Grounds.”

A possible rising star in a Brueggemann barn that had just retired Eclipse Champion Sprinter of 2014 Work All Week and currently campaigns Eclipse Award finalist and turf star The Pizza Man – each owned by Midwest Thoroughbreds – Candy My Boy is now likely to take on other talented 3-year-olds in the aptly named Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 20.

“I think that’s probably what we’ll try,” Brueggemann confirmed. “The owner decided to keep him and he’s never had a horse like this before and we’ll see how he does there. It might be a steep step, but you might as well stay right here and be able to lead him over and see how good he is. It might be a little bigger than we’d like to jump into right now, but I think he can be a stakes horse.”



Dede McGehee’s high-profile homebred Dolphus has exited his vet scratch just prior to the Grade III $200,000 TwinSpires.com Lecomte Stakes no worse for the wear, according to trainer Joe Sharp. The half-brother to 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra flipped behind the gate, landed on his side and unseated rider Brian Hernandez, Jr. just prior to the race, resulting in a swift scratch by the stewards on advice of the veterinarian.

Calling an audible, Sharp has indicated that the likely next step for the son of champion Lookin at Lucky is an allowance on Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park. At a one-turn mile, the allowance/optional claiming event for non-winners of a race other than maiden, starter or restricted allowance could function as a prep for either the Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 20 at Fair Grounds or Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 27 – both Grade II $400,000 events contested at 1 1/16 miles.



Grade I winner Nickname worked toward her 3-year-old debut on Wednesday, going five furlongs in 1:00.80 for trainer Steve Asmussen and owner LNJ Foxwoods.

Muliple stakes winner Eden Prairie worked a half-mile on Monday in 50.60 for trainer Neil Pessin and Lothenbach Stables.

Multiple graded stakes winner Leigh Court, owned by Speedway Stable and trained by Mike Stidham, worked a half-mile in a spritely 48 flat on Monday.

Clark Brewster’s multiple stakes winner and recent $60,000 Bonapaw Stakes victor Bayerd worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 on Monday for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Wayne Spalding and Faron McCubbins’ Tim Glyshaw-trained Bullards Alley worked five furlongs in a healthy 1:00.60 – third-best of 35 at the distance on Monday. The son of Flower Alley was last seen winning the $75,000 Woodchopper Stakes.

Graded stakes-winning mare Cassatt continues to work impressively, working her third bullet of her last four works for trainer Larry Jones and owner Fox Hill Farms on Monday – five furlongs in 1:00 flat.

Paul Van Doren’s Rise Up worked a half-mile in 48.40 on Thursday for trainer Tom Amoss. The graded stakes-winning son of Rockport Harbor was last seen dismantling an allowance field on Dec. 30 at Delta Downs going 6½ furlongs.

Mark Breen’s comebacking multiple stakes winner Jessica’s Star continued working toward his 5-year-old debut for trainer Mike Stidham, working four furlongs in 48.40 on Thursday.


-Michael Adolphson | Media Specialist, Senior Writer