Frank Fletcher Racing’s Candy Man Rocket picked up 10 points on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series following his one-length triumph in the $200,000 Sam F. Davis S. (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 6. Piloted by Junior Alvarado, the dark bay negotiated 1 1/16 miles on the fast main surface 1:44.30 en route to his initial black-type tally.
Candy Man Rocket debuted at Churchill Downs on Nov. 22 in a 6 1/2-furlong race over a sloppy surface and tired late prior to crossing the finish line in seventh. The colt returned at Gulfstream Park for his sophomore bow on Jan. 9 and strode home an impressive 9 1/4-length victor with John Velazquez in the silks. The Bill Mott trainee now sports a lifetime line that reads 3-2-0-0, $144,824.
The son of Candy Ride passed through the auction ring on a trio of occasions. He was a $190,000 RNA as a weanling at the 2018 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, and he also failed to meet his reserve at a hammer price of $70,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Candy Man Rocket went to his current connections when bringing the gavel down at $250,000 at the 2020 OBS Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training.
He is out of the winning Forestry mare Kenny Lane, who is a half-sister to a pair of turf stakes vixens by Danzig; Wassema and Pitamakan. His female line traces back to foundation mare Courtly Dee, who was honored as the 1983 Broodmare of the Year.
Candy Man Rocket has earned Brisnet Speed figures of 70-97-87 from his trio of lifetime performances to date, and the colt has shown excellent early presence in each of those outings. The sophomore is a bit of a question mark going a classic distance at this stage of his development, but he is moving in the right direction and hails from expert connections, so he can’t be ignored on the Triple Crown Trail.
The $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on Mar. 6 is a possible next target for the talented three-year-old.