Lemon Candy Is Sweet

Published: November 5, 2008 01:10 pm EST

Lemon Candy heads back to Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday night off the sharpest mile of his brief career, and trainer Anette Lorentzon is hoping the two-year-old trotter can come up with another impressive effort in the $120,000 Gold final.

"I was very surprised," says Lorentzon about the gelding's 1:57.1, four and a half-length elimination win. "I really thought he would need a race to be at the top of his game.

"If he performs as good as he did last week, he has a good chance to be in the top three in the final, but he is a two-year-old, so you never know," she adds.

Last week's elimination was Lemon Candy's first start since October 2, when he made a miscue in a Gold consolation at Mohawk Racetrack and finished sixth. Lorentzon says the half-brother to $300,007 winner Mill Work had logged a lot of slow miles in the month of October, but had not been trained or schooled quickly, so she was not expecting him to jump up with a mile almost two seconds faster than his personal best.

That personal best came in the gelding's Ontario Sires Stakes debut, where he captured an August 18 Gold elimination at Mohawk in 1:59. Lemon Candy came back in the final to finish fourth after carving most of the fractions and followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the September 25 Gold elims at Mohawk. Only the top three finishers advanced to the final, leaving Lemon Candy in the consolation where he made the break.

"I always liked him. He showed when he won an elimination early in the summer that he was a good horse," says Lorentzon, who trains the gelding for her family's ACL Stuteri AB of Paris, Kentucky. "Hopefully he'll race good in his last two races and then I'll take him down to Florida."

Veteran reinsman Steve Condren piloted Lemon Candy to his elim win, and while other commitments will see him hand over the reins to Rick Zeron for the final, the Milton resident was impressed with the young trotter.

"He acts pretty nice to me, the way he did it, he did it pretty strong," says Condren. "It's a good time of year to get started showing his talent."

While Lorentzon has liked the gelding since he was just a weanling, the trainer was pleased to hear Condren's positive assessment of the gelding's long term prospects.

"He told me right after the race that he thought the horse would turn out to be a really nice three-year-old," recalls Lorentzon.

Lemon Candy will try and earn a few more accolades from Post 7 in Saturday's $120,000 Gold final, while the other elimination winners, Kingsbury and Striking Lindsey are saddled with Posts 9 and 10 in the fifth race.

Raising the curtain on Woodbine Racetrack's 7:30 p.m. program are nine colts who failed to hit the top three in the elimination round, and will instead battle for $20,000 in the last Gold consolation of the season.

Click here to view the entries.