San Diego Horse to Race in Kentucky Derby

Danzing Candy trains at the San Luis Rey Downs in Bonsall

“It’s like a dream. You wonder if it’s going to happen, but yet it’s almost here.”

Dianne Basher and her husband have never had a horse in the Kentucky Derby before, but on May 7th both of them will watch Danzing Candy race at Churchill Downs.

The Bashers and their partners, Ted and Leslie Aroney of Halo Farms (where Danzing Candy was bred), agree they’ve already won. “More people should get in this business,” Ted Aroney said to laughs from his co-owners.

Danzing Candy, represented as ‘DC’ on hats they had made up for the derby, is an “unbelievable dream” for the foursome.

“When this horse took off and broke his maiden he was something special. He came back and won another allowance race really easy,” Aroney said. “We put him in the Grade two, San Felipe and he won that easy again…So we started really planning what you have to do for the Kentucky Derby.”

The three-year-old colt has won three out of his last five races, including the Santa Felipe Stakes and a fourth place at the Santa Anita Derby.

“Jim’s been around horses since he was 12 years old. He remembers horses that he watched in Santa Anita…He was always around them, but he never owned a horse,” Aroney said of Basher. “Finally…he said I want a derby horse. I said Jim you can’t just get a derby horse. I said there’s 20-some-odd-thousand horses born every year and only 20 get to the derby.”

Having been around horses since he was around 12 himself, Aroney has owned horses for the last 50 years, but after decades of owning this will be his first Kentucky Derby too.

“I think he’s a 20 to 1 longshot bet for the Kentucky Derby,” Aroney said. “Bet on Danzing Candy.”

Danzing Candy will leave San Diego on Monday for a week of training and acclimation before the derby next Saturday.

The Bashers and Aroneys have raced horses in partnership since 2012, but Danzing Candy is their first graded stakes winner as a partnership.

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