There are plenty of good stories behind the the names of Kentucky Derby horses. Some of them make a lot of sense (like favorite Nyquist, who is named after a hockey player on his owner's favorite team), and some make very little sense (enter Suddenbreakingnews, whose owner tried to name him Breaking News and was shot down by the higher-ups). But one of the more oddball names in this year's 20-horse Derby is actually kind of sweet. So what does Danzing Candy mean? This horse's name is all in the family.
Owners Ted Aroney and Jim and Dianne Bashor took Danzing Candy's name out of his pedigree. Danzing Candy's sire (his father) is Twirling Candy, who is the son of stallion Candy Ride and mare House of Danzing. So Danzing Candy is a third-generation Candy horse. Now where his parents and grandparents got their names is a complete mystery, but I'm not really going to argue with such a fantastic name as Twirling Candy.
It's sweet, really, because Danzing Candy is riding with the names of his forebearers (not to mention a jockey!) on his back. Unfortunately, that hasn't done a lot to boost the horse's chances of taking the Kentucky Derby, which, putting it lightly, are basically zero.
Danzing Candy's morning-line odds were 15-1, which is toward the bottom of the barrel as far as betting odds go. He had a surprise win earlier this season, which was quickly overshadowed by a fourth-place spot in the influential Santa Anita Derby. Still, he has a strong jockey in Mike Smith, which could help him gain an advantage if the pacing gets set right. Plus, Danzing Candy is a good candidate for leading through the far turn. If Nyquist suddenly seems too tired to go on, a strong jockey like Smith could capitalize on any holes that he sees.
Still, a Danzing Candy win would be nothing short of a complete Kentucky Derby coup. Nyquist is the overwhelming favorite to win the whole thing, with second-favorite Exaggerator as a seemingly viable upset. Plus, Danzing Candy's races leading up to the Kentucky Derby haven't exactly been consistently stellar. But no matter what, Danzing Candy will be riding with his family's name, and even if he is blissfully unaware of the lineage he will carry with him down the final stretch, it is undeniably sweet. Get it? Candy? Sweet? Alright, fine.