LARC NEWS Posted: 11/14/2020 11:43:55 PM


        Fifth when racing in a strong trial to the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity on October 18, J. Francisco Diaz’s Teller With Candy returned with a strong victory over eight rivals in the $25,000 Corona Chick Handicap on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

        Sent off 11-1 odds from post number one, Teller With Candy took the lead shortly after the start before taking off in route to a two-length victory in the 400-yard race. Bred by Reliance Ranches, the Oklahoma-bred gelding by Jess Good Candy covered the distance in :19.601 while scoring her third win in six starts. In his Golden State Million trial, Teller With Candy faced Apollitical Patty, Counting The Ways and Aint She Tempting, a trio of runners that qualified to the Grade 1, $1,104,400 final. Aint She Tempting, the winner of the Oklahoma Futurity at Remington Park, finished second in the Golden State Million final.

          “It was one of the toughest trials to the Golden State,” trainer Lindolfo Diaz said. “It was probably the toughest with those three horses qualifying to the final. My horse just didn’t get away that well but maybe because he had that really good filly (Aint She Tempting) next to him and he felt the pressure. He needed his rider. He knows him really, really well and gets along really good with him. I was a little worried about the one post because he has never been on the inside. He lugged out a little bit, but he was well out in front that it didn’t matter. He ran huge. He surprised me a lot.”

          Teller With Candy’s rider in this race was Jesus Rios Ayala, the meet’s leading Quarter Horse rider. Rios Ayala won twice aboard Teller With Candy prior to the Corona Chick, but on the night of the Golden State Million trials he was aboard Aint She Tempting. He was back aboard the Diaz-trainee for this stakes race.

          “He’s probably my best friend,” Diaz said of the jockey. “He’s my best man at my wedding and always helps me at my barn. I can always count on him to help me out in the morning. He’s just a hard worker. It’s not strange to see him as the leading rider because he works his (tail) off.”

          Diaz’s father, J. Francisco Diaz, also had a chance to celebrate a nice victory with the runner that her purchased for $42,500 at the Heritage Place September Yearling Sale last year.

          “I’m very happy. It’s always nice to get a little stakes victory for him whenever we can,” the trainer added. “He just called me right now from home. He’s ecstatic. That always puts a smile on my face.”

          Teller With Candy earned $13,750 for the win to take his career earnings to $24,685. Diaz expects to see his trainee in a few derbies in 2021.

          “He was in the trials to the Los Alamitos Two Million (on November 22),” he said. “I decided not to run him in there because of the race he kind of ran (in the Golden State Million trials) and obviously I’m not going to bring him back next week. Probably, it’ll be the Los Alamitos Winter Derby trials. We’ll probably pay him up to that race. He’s in the El Primero Del Año Derby trials for sure next year. He’ll be in a couple of derbies next year. I’ll probably freshen him up. We’ll give him five to seven weeks off before he comes back.”

          Mike Casselman’s homebred Rox Win finished second at 7-1 odds with jockey Cruz Mendez in the irons. The Seperate Interest gelding has now posted six consecutive in the money finishes, including a third place finish in his trial to the Golden State Million Futurity. Rox Win earned $5,625 for running second. Andrea and Eddie Jensen’s Coronado Kiss, who finished in the money in both the Bitterroot Futurity and South Valley Futurity, ran third in the Corona Chick. No Questions, La Reina Del Sur 1, AP A Special Takeoff, Flight Queen, Volcums Hot Candy, and One Sweet Venom completed the field.


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