Sidney's Candy, making his first start since setting the pace and fading in the TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) last month, is the one to beat in the $150,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIT) on opening day of the 2010-11 Santa Anita season Dec. 26.
The turf feature for 3-year-olds, the seventh race on a nine-race program with a probable post of 3 p.m. PST, supports a card that includes a pair of grade I stakes also for sophomores, the Malibu and La Brea, and the $100,000 California Breeders' Champion for 2-year-olds. Sidney's Candy, romping winner of the La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) on turf at Del Mar in August, faces eight rivals in the one-mile Sir Beaufort.
Jenny Craig's brilliant homebred son of Candy Ride set an uncontested pace in the Breeders' Cup Mile but was overwhelmed in the stretch and faded to sixth, beaten three lengths, as Goldikova registered her unprecedented third consecutive victory in the race.
Sidney's Candy surely had an excuse for tiring. He had not had a race since his 5 1/2-length front-running victory in the La Jolla, his grass debut, nearly three months earlier. A scheduled start in the Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) in early October was dropped at the last minute when it appeared the colt was going to be sold. The purchase reportedly fell through.