STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN

• TWIRLING CANDY PREPS FOR MARCH 5 BIG ’CAP

• SANTA ANITA JOCKEYS READY FOR CHARITY GAME TONIGHT

• SANTA ANITA’S WOOLF WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED TODAY ON HRTV

TWIRLING CANDY DOING ‘SUPER’ FOR SANTA ANITA HANDICAP

From Clockers’ Corner on Thursday morning, John Sadler pronounced Twirling Candy on course for the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap March 5. Sadler’s Strub Stakes winner worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Monday in 1:12.

“He worked real well,” said Sadler, currently in a three-way race with Bob Baffert and Doug O’Neill in quest of his third straight Santa Anita training title. “It was terrific. He’ll have one more work, Sunday or Monday, depending on the weather, but he’s doing super.”

Not so for Sidney’s Candy, who will miss the Grade I Kilroe Mile on turf March 5 due to a quarter crack in his right front foot.

“He won’t be out long,” Sadler said of the Sir Beaufort Stakes winner. “He’ll be ready to run by the end of March.”

Joel Rosario rides Twirling Candy in the Big ’ Cap. Other probables for the $750,000 race at 1 ¼ miles include Aggie Engineer, Joe Talamo; Game on Dude, no rider; Gladding, no rider; Pode Ir, David Flores; Soul Candy, Garrett Gomez; Spurrier, no rider; and Tweebster, no rider.

Pode Ir worked six furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Thursday in 1:11.40 for trainer A.C. Avila, while Tweebster worked the same distance in 1:12.60 for Bob Baffert.

TRADITION CONTINUES IN TONIGHT’S CHARITY BASKETBALL GAME

Santa Anita’s riders are poised for tonight’s big game against Holy Angels, although one of their players will be a game-time decision.

The 44th annual Holy Angels-Santa Anita Jockeys Charity Basketball Game will take place at La Salle High School in Pasadena. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.

“I’ll be there, but I don’t know if I’m going to play,” said 40-year-old veteran Corey Nakatani. “I might be watching these young guys. We’ll see what happens. Either way, it’s a lot of fun and a good cause, so we’re hoping for a big turnout.”

Ditto for team captain David Flores. “We’ve been playing for many years and it’s for a very good cause,” Flores said. “We have to keep the tradition going. We have some new young players and it should be a lot of fun.”

Proceeds for the game will benefit the Holy Angels athletic department and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). Legendary Hall of Fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Don Pierce, Laffit Pincay Jr., Gary Stevens and Mike Smith will serve as honorary captains and will be on hand to autograph memorabilia from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the La Salle High gymnasium.

This year’s Santa Anita jockey squad is expected to include: David Flores, Pedro Arambula, Paul Atkinson, Rafael Bejarano, Alex Bisono, Brice Blanc, Antonio Castanon, Victor Espinoza, Martin Garcia, Dihigi Gladney, Garrett Gomez, Kerwin John, Edwin Maldonado, Luis Medina, Corey Nakatani, Melvin Perez, Iggy Puglisi, Alonso Quinonez, Joel Rosario, Christian Santiago Reyes, Nicole Shinton, Mike Smith, Chantal Sutherland, Kayla Stra, Joe Talamo Jose Verenzuela and Patrick Valenzuela.

La Salle High School is located at the southwest corner of Michillinda Ave. and Sierra Madre Blvd. in Pasadena, approximately four miles from Santa Anita. Admission is $5.

STEVENS TO ANNOUNCE 2011 WOOLF WINNER ON HRTV TODAY

Gary Stevens will announce the winner of Santa Anita’s prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award winner for 2011 on HRTV following today’s fifth race.

Stevens, a Hall of Fame rider who won the Woolf Award in 1996, will name the winner from a group of five finalists: Joe Bravo, Javier Castellano, Garrett Gomez, Corey Lanerie and Gallyn Mitchell.

SADLER SWEET ON CANDY RIDE AS A STALLION

John Sadler knows a good sire when he sees one, and in Candy Ride, the trainer recognizes one of the best of his generation. Sadler trains two of Candy Ride’s strongest progeny, Twirling Candy and Sidney’s Candy.

“They’re just good horses,” Santa Anita’s training leader the past two meets said of Candy Ride’s offspring. “They come in all different shapes and sizes, chestnuts, bays, all kinds of shapes and sizes. They all look a little different, but they’re all nice horses.

“They’re versatile, too. They handle all kinds of distances and surfaces, including mud. Horses that are bred and who race in South America, like Candy Ride, can usually handle mud.”

The Argentine-bred Candy Ride was the second-leading sire of synthetic runners in 2010. He stands at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky for $40,000.

NOBLE AND BERYL THREEWITT TRIBUTE AT SANTA ANITA TOMORROW

Tomorrow, following the last race, friends and family of Noble and Beryl Threewitt are invited to gather in the Chandelier Room at Santa Anita in appreciation of their many contributions to racing.

Threewitt, who trained more than 2,000 winners including 1954 Preakness winner Correlation, retired as one of the most highly respected horsemen in California racing history on Feb. 24, 2007. Threewitt was on hand when Santa Anita opened on Christmas Day 1934 and was a popular and welcome fixture at The Great Race Place ever since.

He died at the age of 99 last Sept. 16. His wife died last July 12 at the age of 98. They were married 77 years. Threewitt would have been 100 years old today.

DIODORO, ESPINOZA A WINNING COMBINATION AT SANTA ANITA

Robertino Diodoro has won five races during this, his first extended tour at Santa Anita, and all have been ridden by Victor Espinoza, including Job Boss in Monday’s second race.

“I’ve always watched him ride, but it was just kind of by accident that we hooked up,” said the 36-year-old trainer, who had been based at Northlands in Edmonton, Canada. “I put Espinoza on the first horse in the first race here this meet and we won, and it’s kind of gone from there. I didn’t even meet him before I put him on my horse (Skellytown, who came back to post a 9-1 upset for new trainer Kristin Mulhall on Monday).

“Victor came to the paddock on opening day and I shook his hand because I hadn’t met him, talked to him for a second, legged him up, turned to my wife (Nikki) and said, ‘I like this guy.’ That was before he even rode the horse, just talking to him.

“It’s been a pretty good relationship so far. We really like Victor, and his agent, Tony (Matos), is great, too.”

Diodoro was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and raced at Northlands Park all his life before venturing to Southern California.

“I had a few good years up there,” Diodoro said. “I’ve been leading trainer two of the last three years at Northlands and won 106 races there this year. All I lived for all my life is horses and hockey. I quit playing hockey when I was 21 and took up training full time. Trying to make the NHL playing hockey and being a trainer at Santa Anita have been my life goals.”

FINISH LINES: Santa Anita has announced that pending approval from the California Horse Racing Board, it will remain on a four-day race week schedule through March 20, and will transition to a five-day race week beginning Wednesday, March 23. The five-day race week would remain in effect through closing day, April 17. Santa Anita’s 76-day winter/spring meeting began on Dec. 26, and with exception of holiday Mondays, racing has been conducted on a Thursday through Sunday basis. Santa Anita had originally planned to run five days a week beginning March 2, but due to a variety of factors, Santa Anita has opted to remain on a four-day schedule for the first three weeks in March . . . Track superintendent Richard Tedesco said the weather forecast calls for rain Friday night going into Saturday. “We’ll probably have a little moisture Friday in the later races,” Tedesco said. “Friday night through Saturday we could have an inch of rain, and after that it should be clear.” . . . Apprentice jockey Abel Cedillo, who suffered minor back injuries in a spill at Santa Anita on Feb. 10, is expected to resume riding shortly at Golden Gate Fields, according to agent Alex Procel Crowley, a friend of agent Roger Olguin, who will represent Cedillo in the Bay Area . . .Christian Santiago Reyes won his first race of the meet when he piloted Skellytown to a half-length victory for trainer Kristin Mulhall in Monday’s third race. “On Saturday, he goes to Sunland Park to ride Special Kid for Doug O’Neill in the Borderland Derby,” agent Tony Matos said. The Borderland Derby offers a $100,000 purse and will be decided at a mile and one sixteenth . . . Palos Verdes Handicap winner Euroears, prepping for the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai March 26, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Thursday in a bullet :57.80 for Bob Baffert. It was the fastest of 81 drills at the distance, the average of which was 1:00.41. There were 210 recorded works on the main track Thursday morning and 26 on the turf course, one of which was by The Usual Q.T., who went five furlongs for trainer Jim Cassidy under regular rider Victor Espinoza in 1:00.20 for the Grade II April 9 Arcadia Stakes at one mile on turf.

-30-