Amid all the softball mementos, inspirational posters, New York Yankees memorabilia and pictures of his former players’ children, Arizona Wildcats softball coach Mike Candrea has a photo of a horse in his office.
He’s following his namesake, a 2-year-old filly named Candrea — partially owned by local car dealers Paul Weitman and Karl Watson and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, a UA alum. Candrea finished second last weekend at the $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes (Grade 1) at Santa Anita.
Candrea, who went off as the second favorite at 3-1 odds, and looked to have the race won before being edged out on the outside by the favored Weemissfrankie over a mile and sixteenth. Watch the video above.
Candrea could run in the Breeders’ Cup championships next month.
Weitman and Watson, along with co-owner Mike Pegram — previously had success with horses named after Arizona coaches — Da Stoops and Midnight Lute.
Candrea — the coach — said the owners named the filly without consulting him first.
“They just named it,” he said. “That’s all I know.”
Well, he does receive updates on the horse and tracks her progress on various websites. You, too, can follow along. Candrea — the horse — had wins in her first two starts.