ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 15, 2010) – Sidney’s Candy regained a huge
measure of the high expectations he had generated following a dazzling
maiden victory last summer at Del Mar with a comparable triumph on
Monday in Santa Anita’s 69th running of the Grade II, $150,000 San
Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Following a disappointing comeback performance in an
allowance event on Dec. 30 at Santa Anita, Sidney’s Candy simply ran
away from his opposition in the seven-furlong stakes race that has
served as a proving ground for nine Kentucky Derby champions.
With Joe Talamo sitting confidently in the saddle, Sidney’s
Candy matched strides early with trainer Bob Baffert’s Tiny Woods, who
had beaten him twice, before leaving his rival 4 ¼ lengths in arrears
when crossing the wire in 1:20.91, making it the second fasted running
in the San Vicente’s long, rich history.
“I was confident he’d bounce back with a good effort today,”
Talamo said of the homebred son of the brilliant Candy Ride trained by
John Sadler for the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust. “John (Sadler) told me
to just get a good start and go from there. At the three-eighths, I
just kind of clucked to him and he got right into the bridle.
“They’ve done a great job with this horse. I just basically
sat on him today, and I couldn’t believe that final time. That’s
awesome. It’s very exciting to have a horse of this caliber.”
Tiny Woods, after chasing Sidney’s Candy through fractions of
22.77, 45.50 and 1:08.62, held second by 1 ¾ lengths over Classical
Slew in the field of seven. Baffert’s other entrant, 5-2 second choice
Quiet Invader, finished fifth.
Sidney’s Candy paid $6.20, $3.60 and $2.40. Tiny Woods,
ridden by Victor Espinoza, returned $3.80 and $2.60. The show price on
Classical Slew, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, was $4.
Sadler dismissed the previous race by Sidney’s Candy when he
wound up fourth in a five-horse field at odds of 3-5 following four
months on the sidelines while sore shins healed.
“In his last start, he had been off four or five months,”
said Sadler. “He was a little heavy and he didn’t break. He’s kind of a
free-running horse, so when he got out of his game the other day, it
didn’t surprise me that he didn’t run well.
“We want him to do what he does, which is kind of bouncing
around a little bit with some natural speed. Once I saw him get
rhythmic today, I knew we were going to be fine. The plan today was to
get him back on the lead.”
Sadler commented that he wasn’t sure what would be next for
Sidney’s Candy, but said, “The reason I didn’t want to go into an
allowance race is because of the graded earnings for the big stuff
(Kentucky Derby). He’ll be going around two turns next time, that’s for
sure. Which one of those races it is, we don’t know yet.”
The victory in the San Vicente was worth $90,000 to Sidney’s
Candy, which lifted his total to $133,560 from a 2-1-0 mark in four
starts. Tiny Woods had beaten him by a head in his first start on July
25 at Del Mar and again when victorious in the comeback effort.