“Beautiful,” said trainer John Sadler after Sidney’s Candy worked seven furlongs in a
bullet 1:24 at Hollywood Park for the
$150,000 Grade II Mervyn LeRoy Handicap Saturday. “He couldn’t be better. He’s
fresh and ready for the second half of the year.”
The multiple stakes-winning 4-year-old colt will make
his first start since winning the Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita December
26. He had been hampered by minor injuries to a foot and his hind end.
Sidney’s Candy will be ridden for the first time by Alonso
Quinonez since his previous jockeys, Joel Rosario and Joe Talamo, will be in Kentucky
Sidney’s Candy, a graded stakes winner on synthetic, turf
and dirt, has won six of 11 starts and earned $893,560 for owner Jenny Craig.
The Mervyn LeRoy, at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track, is the first stepping stone
for the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup July 9.
Sidney’s Candy will be out to make amends for his only
previous start here, when he was nipped by Skipshot at the wire as the 1-5
favorite in the Swaps Stakes last July.
Sadler said that multiple stakes-winning stablemate
Twirling Candy is also back galloping and should give the trainer a potent
1-2 punch in the handicap division here on both surfaces.
Other probable starters in the Mervyn LeRoy include
Crown of Thorns (Tyler Baze), Honour the Deputy (Brice Blanc) and Spurrier
(Chantal Sutherland). Spurrier worked five furlongs in 59, and Honour the
Deputy was clocked in 1:26 for seven panels.
Heading the list of possibles is Coffee Boy, a
newcomer to the circuit. The 4-year-old colt owned by Gary Barber joined the
Peter Miller stable three weeks ago from Florida, where his resume includes a
victory in the Grade II Carry Back Stakes last July 10 at Calder. The son of
Yonaguska worked six furlongs in 1:12.40.