Kentucky Derby winner Chateaugay showed the skeptics he is a good horse in Saturday's Preakness, but Candy Spots proved he is a great one. With a brilliant stretch drive, the oddly-marked California colt captured the 89th running of the Pimlico classic by 3 1/2 lengths and established himself firmly as the best three-year old in the nation.
The victory redeemed Candy Spot, the three-to-two favorite, after he had finished a lacklustre third behind Chateaugay and Never Bend in the Derby; that loss was the first in Candy Spots' career.
Never Bend, as expected, took the lead at the start of the Preakness. Front-running No Robbery was not entered in the race, so Willie Shoemaker, on Candy Spots, knew he would have to stay close to the pace to prevent the swift New York colt from "stealing" the race. With longshot Rural Retreat running close to Never Bend, Candy Spots saved ground, about two lengths behind the loaders.
Toward the end of the backstretch Shoemaker roused his mount and shot into the lead, but all eyes were on Chateaugay, who was streaking from far behind. As the horses turned into the stretch, the scene looked like a news-reel shot from Churchill Downs two weeks earlier: Candy Spots and Never Bend were battling for the lead with Chateaugay, on the far outside, about to mow them down.
Candy Spots Triumphs
Never Bend faded, but Chateaugay was a blur closing in on the leader, and for an instant it appeared that he was going to run away with the second leg of the Triple Crown. Then Shoemaker want to the whip, and Candy Sopts surged to a remarkably easy triumph over Chateaugay, with Never Bend third.
Candy Spots' victory was so impressive that he is likely to be odds-on in the mile-and-one-half Belmont Stakes
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