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Grade 1 star adds to sire's good record at the highest level.

THE Santa Anita Handicap has ranked as America's most important spring event for older horses virtually since its inception in 1935. The roll of honour features numerous celebrated performers, including Seabiscuit (who won it at the third attempt, having twice been thwarted by a nose), Round Table, Ack Ack, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John Henry (twice), Alysheba and Tiznow.

This year's renewal, contested on the Pro-Ride at the Los Angeles track on Saturday, was not reckoned to be one of vintage quality, underlined by the fact that the lukewarm favourite at 3-1 was the English-bred filly St Trinians.

While it was clear that the daughter of Piccolo had made significant progress since her switch to California, it required some leap of faith to see her as the first of her sex ever to score in this prestigious event.

A three-time Wolverhampton winner whose best RPR was 95 before she left Ed Vaughan's yard at the end of her three-year-old campaign, St Trinians had undoubtedly improved for new trainer Mike Mitchell and last month she became a Grade 2 winner in the Santa Maria Handicap, making the most of a 7lb concession from last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic heroine Life Is Sweet for a two-length triumph.

But it was asking more again when she took on 13 males in what - by European standards - was a typically curious major US handicap with a weight range of only 3lb. And, as it turned out, St Trinians never promised to take a hand in the finish; having entered the straight five wide and in sixth place, she could only plug on at the one pace to retain that position at the wire.

The plan for four-year-old Misremembered had been to make the running, but David Flores had Mast Track faster into stride from the off, and, rather than get involved in a speed duel up front, Martin Garcia was content to follow the pace, and the tactic worked to perfection.

Although not blessed with a sharp turn of foot, Misremembered is a stout, willing galloper, and once Garcia had pushed him past the tiring Mast Track on the turn for home, the rest were set a challenge. Neko Bay, who came from way back under Mike Smith, made a commendable fist of it, but was still half a length in arrears at the finish.

Although Misremembered lacks the change of gear that one would expect to see in a prospective champion, he is still relatively lightly raced, he is a dogged competitor and seems sure to make his presence felt in other top-level events later in the season, particularly those at 1m2f or beyond.

Misremembered is the second Santa Anita Handicap winner to have been trained by Bob Baffert, after General Challenge in 2000, but this one was particularly special, as he bred the son of Candy Ride, who races for a partnership that includes his wife, Jill.

Slow to come to hand, Misremembered did not have his first start until April last year, but he was a maiden winner by the end of that month, collected an allowance event at Hollywood Park in May, and since then has been campaigned exclusively in Graded company.

He notched two Grade 2 victories in 2009, in the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood and the Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park, and was three times runner-up, in the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap, the Grade 2 Clark Handicap and the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes. That last effort seemed particularly creditable, as the 7f trip was surely inadequate; he had never run at less than 1m before, and it seemed strange that punters made him favourite.

Misremembered's first start in 2010 came in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes over 1m1f, when he was favoured again, but he could not quicken when Jeranimo bore down on him in the straight and had to settle for another second place. On Saturday, Jeranimo could not summon the pace to repeat that form and came home in fourth.

Misremembered comes from the first crop by Candy Ride and he is the third of that generation to have scored at Grade 1 level, after Capt. Candyman Can, successful in last year's King's Bishop Stakes, and Evita Argentina, whose top score came in the La Brea Stakes. Chocolate Candy and Winning Ride have also been runners-up in Grade 1s.

Breeders might have looked askance at their sire's apparently outlandish pedigree at the outset, but it is now high time that they took him seriously. His racing record was both brilliant and unblemished, so why shouldn't he be granted the kind of opportunities that his form merited? Of course, Candy Ride was not around for long, which did not aid his cause, but he accomplished a great deal in a short space of time. Bred in Argentina, he broke his maiden there over 6f by 12 lengths and promptly added two Grade 1 wins over 1m, each by eight lengths.

NAMED his nation's champion miler, he was soon sold to Sidney and Jenny Craig, whose trainer Ron McAnally had flown south to watch the colt in a 1m2f workout and recommended his purchase for a reported $900,000.

Candy Ride retrieved most of that outlay in three runs in California. He began with a smooth victory in an optional claimer over 1m1/2f of the Hollywood main track.

He then took the Grade 2 American Handicap (1m1f) on the grass course there, before pointing for the Pacific Classic over 1m2f at Del Mar, where he was supposed to be given a serious test by some of the best in training.

That race was a revelation. Candy Ride left Medaglia D'Oro for dead on the turn in and powered home to win by more than three lengths breaking the track record. Dual Santa Anita Handicap winner Milwaukee Brew was far in arrears.

Collateral form suggested that Candy Ride was the best horse to have run in the States in 2003, superior to Horse of the Year Mineshaft, but he was ineligible for the Breeders' Cup and in fact was never seen in action again. Although his sire Ride The Rails was only a minor stakes winner and his first two dams were both unraced, he was clearly a tip-top performer.

Misremembered is by far the best of six foals produced by his dam, Beyond Perfection, a Grade 2 winner as a juvenile and successful in Grade 3 on her only appearance at three. Four of the others were minor winners with the other unplaced in her only two starts.

The family is not one that has been distinguished by notable performers in recent generations, which seems to reflect more credit on Candy Ride, a sire whose star is surely in the ascendant.

The story so far First or second in seven out of his eight Graded races Assessment High-class performer, still on the upgrade. Another credit to a sire who is just beginning to acquire the respect he deserves What now? Sure to make his presence felt in Graded company at 1m2f+ MISREMEMBERED ch rig 5-4-2006 SIRE CANDY RIDE Bred by Haras Abolengo in Argentina. Unbeaten in 6 races (6f-1m2f), viz. unraced at 2 years, won 3 (inc. 2 Gr1 events at 1m) of 3 races at 3 years in Argentina, 3 (inc. American H.-Gr2, Pacific Classic S.-Gr1) of 3 at 4 years in US. RPR 131 at 4. Earned $749,149.

Fappiano Mr Prospector Killaloe Cr yptoclearance Naval Orange Hoist The Flag Mock Orange Strong, handsome individual, 16.0hh. Top-class performer from 1m-1m2f, equally adept on dirt and turf. The best horse in training in North America in 2003. Ride The Rails Herbager Vandale Flagette Herbalesian Alanesian Polynesian Alablue Well bred. By a stakes winner, Gr1 placed, sire also of a Horse of the Year in Uruguay and a champion 2-y-o filly in Argentina. Brother to a winner who is dam of a Gr3-placed stakes winner, and half-brother to 5 winners, inc. Candy Apple (Gr3). Dam unraced sister to triple Argentinian Gr1 winner City West (also Gr3-placed in US) and half-sister to City Hylton (Gr2 winner in Chile). Fourth dam three-parts sister to Le Fabuleux (Prix du Jockey-Club, successful sire). Family of notable international runners and sires Worden, Mahan, Wilkes and Norseman. Candy Ride (b 1999) Blushing Groom Red God Runaway Bride Candy Stripes Bubble Company Lyphard Prodice Candy Girl Stands at Lane's End Farm, Versailles, Kentucky, at a fee of $25,000. Sire of 3 crops of racing age, including: Capt.

Farnesio Good Manners La Farnesina Candyman Can (King's Bishop S.-Gr1), Chocolate Candy (Gr3), Evita Argentina (La Brea S.-Gr1), Misremembered (Santa Anita H.-Gr1). City Girl Cithara Utopico Cithere Indian Hemp Nasrullah Sabzy DAM BEYOND PERFECTION Bred by Carl L. Broughton in Kentucky. $16,500 Keeneland September yearling. Won 4 of 9 races, viz. 3 (inc. Del Mar Debutante S.-Gr2) out of 6 at 2 years, 1 (Bay Meadows Oaks-Gr3) out of 1 at 3 years, 0 out of 2 at 4 years. Earned $403,989. T.V. Lark Miss Larksfly Heelfly Larksnest Quack Princequillo Prince Rose Cosquilla Smart performer on dirt up to and around 1m until injured at 3. By a fairly respectable sire. Half-sister to 5 other winners, Quillon Nato inc. durable stakes winner True West (by Buffalo Lark) and equally tough less conspicuous performer Answerullah (by Greek Answer; 14 wins, 34 places from 101 starts). Dam useful restricted stakes winner, half-sister to better stakes winners Little Mo and Miss Restless. Beyond Perfection (ch 1988) Swaps Court Martial Safari Moon Khaled Iron Reward From long-established US family, more noted for toughness than class. Black Beard Darby Dunedin Blenheim Ethel Dear Miss Imorullah Amarullah To stud at 5 years and dam of: Perfect Launch (1995 f by Relaunch; winner), Perfect Run (1997 c by Cherokee Run; winner), The Griff (1998 c by Housebuster; winner), Beyond Our Wildest (1999 c by Honour and Glory; winner), Lost Perfection (2003 f by Lost Soldier; unplaced), Misremembered (2006 rig by Candy Ride; Gr1 winner, her last recorded foal). Barren in 1994, 2002 and 2004, dead foal in 1996, slipped in 2000, 2001 and 2005. Nasrullah Amphora Imorullah Jimo Apache Star Willow Bred by Bob Baffert in Kentucky
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Mar 12, 2010
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