What a difference a day can make. Yesterday at this time, I was writing about the talent and accomplishments of Sidney’s Candy. Today he has been scratched from the San Fernando Stakes with soundness issues. It’s a shame. I truly believe him to be a unique talent. Hopefully with a little time, he will be back healthy, and as good as ever. In the meantime, I have to wonder about his unsoundness. My biggest question is how fast is too fast?
I am afraid that the new dirt track at Santa Anita may well be on the verge of displaying the answer. Twirling Candy ran 1:19.70 in winning the Malibu. Switch ran 120:33 in winning the La Brea. Sidney’s Candy ran 1:33.70 in winning the Sir Beaufort. Topnotch horses one and all, but are those times simply too fast? The answer is yes.
Too much strain is placed on the athlete when they run that fast and when they run on a track that allows them to run that fast.
Sidney’s Candy is now on the shelf. For how long is yet to be determined. Twirling Candy has not had a published workout since his track record. Switch has come back with one workout, and for good or for bad, it was fast.
These three grade 1 winners were not the only ones to blister the Santa Anita dirt course recently. For example, look at a couple of inexperienced and newly turned three-year-olds who broke their maidens recently in unreal times before turning leaving the age of two. The much talked about colt, The Factor, blazed six furlongs in an unheard of 1:06.98, while Rumor, a filly, broke her maiden slower, but just a little. Her maiden time of 1:07.97 is as fast as I have ever seen a juvenile filly run. It’s yet to be seen what effect running these times will have on their careers, but I know if I had a promising young juvenile, I would not want them to run on a surface this fast for very long.
Truth be told, I was for the replacement of the synthetic surface and the return to dirt. What I was not in favor of was the installation of an unsafe speedway.