Farm's Sidney's Candy had his first
grass work for his new connections this morning, zipping five furlongs in a
bullet 57.60 under jockey John Velazquez on the Oklahoma training track turf
"It was great," said Velazquez,
who had worked Sidney's Candy on the dirt at
Belmont Park after his arrival from California in June. "They
told me just to let him do it, so I did."
The move was the fastest of five
at the distance for last year's Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby winner, whose next
start has yet to be determined, according to WinStar president and racing
manager Elliott Walden and trainer Todd Pletcher.
"Everything's an option with this
horse," said Pletcher of Sidney's Candy, who galloped out in 1:09 and 2/5. "He's
obviously proven on all three surfaces. We haven't had an opportunity to breeze
him on the turf yet. We just figured we would, to see how he handles it compared
to the dirt. He handles everything pretty well."
While Sidney's Candy remains
under consideration for the Grade 1 Whitney on August 6, Walden said after the
work that he was leaning against a start in the 1 1/8-mile race for the
4-year-old Candy Ride colt.
"The nice thing about him is you
have so many options," said Walden of Sidney's Candy, one of California's top handicap
horses before being acquired in a private sale by WinStar in June. "We are
leaning against the Whitney because of the 1 1/8 miles. I think he's a true
miler. The surface doesn't matter as much as the distance. We're still figuring
him out. The Forego is something to be under consideration; the Whitney looks
like it's coming up tough. Horses seem to get caught in the last few jumps. He's
been first or second in something like 56 of his 64 points of call."
Pletcher ticked off a number of
options for Sidney's Candy, who in his most
recent start was beaten a nose in the Grade 2 American Handicap on the turf at
Park on Memorial Day. Among
the most immediate he listed were the Grade 2 Fourstardave at 1 1/16 miles on
the turf on July 31, the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at six furlongs on the
main track on August 7, the Grade 1 Arlington Million on the turf at Arlington
Park on August 13, the Grade 1 Forego at seven furlongs on the main track on
September 3, and for good measure, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer on the turf on
"Maybe we'll try him at 1 ½
miles," he joked.
In addition to Sidney's Candy, Pletcher
also sent out Mike Repole's Stay
Thirsty for a maintenance work Sunday morning in preparation for
Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy under jockey Javier Castellano. The
Bernardini colt, most recently second in the Belmont Stakes, went five furlongs
in a comfortable 1:01.64.
"Excellent, really good," said
Pletcher. "He went 1:01 and change the right way, finished up real good and
galloped out really well. It was a nice, comfortable breeze for him and I'm
happy with him. He's a pretty straightforward horse, low-key, very professional.
He had a nice little freshening since the Belmont, and yet he's still pretty fit. So I
think it's right where we'd want him to be."
The winner of the Grade 3 Gotham
has had two starts at Saratoga in his career, a 5 ½-length maiden victory last
August 14 and a second to Boys At Tosconova in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys
"He's just coming into his own
right now," said Repole, who was on hand for the work. "I think the one big
advantage he has his two races over this track, winning his maiden by [almost] 6
lengths and then finishing second to Boys At Tosconova by 1 ½ lengths in the
Hopeful, which is nothing to be ashamed of."
Pletcher added that Buster's Ready came out of her
fourth-place finish in Saturday's Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks in
good shape, and that plans for her next start were still undetermined.