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Breeders' Cup 2017

Jackson Bend, Sidney's Candy Headline Forego

Jackson Bend (no. 2), ridden by Corey Nakatani and trained by Nick Zito, wins the James Marvin Stakes for three year olds and upward on July 22, 2011 at Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, New York. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)
Sidney's Candy has won graded stakes going long on dirt, turf, and synthetic and sprinting over an all-weather surface. On Saturday at Saratoga Race Course, the versatile 4-year-old will attempt to acquire a Grade 1 dirt sprint victory when he competes in the $250,000 Forego at seven furlongs.


The Forego, carded as race 9, is the second of three Grade 1 events to be contested on “Super Saturday at Saratoga” and will be shown live on VERSUS, which will present a live telecast from 5-6 p.m. featuring the Grade 1 Woodward. 


By Candy Ride, Sidney’s Candy began his career in southern California for trainer John Sadler and owner Jenny Craig of the Craig Family Trust, winning five graded stakes in 2010, including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. He made two starts in 2011, finishing second in Hollywood Park’s Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap and Grade 2 American Handicap before being purchased privately by WinStar Farm and transferred to trainer Todd Pletcher.


In his lone start to date for WinStar and Pletcher, Sidney’s Candy led all the way in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap on the turf at Saratoga on July 31. After weighing multiple options, including Saturday’s Grade 1 Woodward, Sidney’s Candy’s connections decided to have the colt cut back in distance for the Forego, which will be his first start on dirt since his 7 ¼-length romp in Santa Anita’s Grade 3 Sir Beaufort last December.


“The Woodward and the Forego are very attractive races, and Sidney’s Candy is a horse who is so good at all these things,” said Pletcher. “But we felt the seven-eighths was a little more comfortable distance than the 1 1/8 miles.”


John Velazquez will ride Sidney’s Candy, the 4-1 second choice on the morning line, from post position 2.


Pletcher will also send out Aikenite, fifth in the James Marvin over the Forego’s course and distance on July 22. Earlier this year, the Dogwood Stable representative won the Grade 2 Commonwealth at Keeneland in April, prevailed by a nose in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs in May, and was fourth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap on Memorial Day at Belmont.


“Aikenite’s last race was good; [the James Marvin] was just such a tough race,” said Pletcher. “He probably ended up a little closer to the pace than he ideally wanted. He still ran a very credible race.”


Javier Castellano has the assignment aboard Aikenite, the 5-1 morning-line third choice, from post 7.


The James Marvin winner, Jackson Bend, will attempt to duplicate that performance when he competes in the Forego as the 5-2 morning-line favorite. The Hear No Evil colt entered the James Marvin off 13 straight route races, including a second in last year’s Grade 1 Wood Memorial and a third in the Grade 1 Preakness. In 2011, he is 1-1-1 from five starts.


“It was a really good thing when he won [the James Marvin] because it showed he’s still Jackson Bend,” said Hall of Famer Nick Zito, who conditions the 4-year-old for Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei. “He needed to get some sort of spark going, which he did. It sets him up well because he certainly qualifies to be in this race. He was a top horse last year. We’re looking forward to Saturday, and hopefully he’ll get his star.”


The James Marvin, while ungraded, attracted four graded stakes winners, which gives Zito confidence Jackson Bend belongs in the Forego.


“Every Grade 1 is tough, but [the James Marvin] was a loaded race,” said Zito. “He takes no back seat to winning that race, and now he just needs to come back and do the same thing. Everything is the same: his fitness is the same, he looks the same, and he acts the same, so hopefully he’ll give the same performance.”


Corey Nakatani will ride Jackson Bend from the rail.


Jersey Town was entered in the James Marvin but was scratched and rerouted to Monmouth Park for the July 31 Teddy Drone, in which he was second by four lengths. The Teddy Drone was his first start since his upset victory in last November’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack.


“I knew he liked the Monmouth track, and it gave him more time,” said trainer Barclay Tagg of his decision to run Jersey Town in the Teddy Drone. “He’s had three works since, and they all have been good and he’s been doing well.”


After racing Jersey Town in the six-furlong Teddy Drone, Tagg is eager to race Jersey Town in the seven-furlong Forego.


“Seven furlongs is probably his best distance,” said Tagg. “If I had a gun to my head, I’d probably say it’s his best distance, but he did win a Grade 1 at a mile.”


Jersey Town, 6-1 on the morning line, will leave from post 4 with Cornelio Velasquez aboard.


Regal Ransom, winner of the 2009 Group 2 U.A.E. Derby and Grade 2 Super Derby at 1 1/8 miles, will attempt to pick up his first sprint stakes win.


After opening his 2011 campaign by finishing second by a neck in the 6 ½-furlong Sir Shackleton in April at Gulfstream Park, the son of Distorted Humor made two starts at Churchill Downs, missing by a nose when second to First Dude in the Grade 3 Alysheba on May 6 and reporting home last of 11 in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap on June 18.


“It’s a Grade 1, and it’s one of his last chances to become Grade 1 placed,” said Rick Mettee, assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor. “He’s run well at seven furlongs before and broke his maiden at seven. We just felt this is the best spot, and he was left in training to see if we could get him Grade 1 placed. The Stephen Foster was a spot we identified, and it just didn’t work out. A Grade 1 at nine furlongs is probably a bit much for him, but we felt he had a shot to hit the board. We kind of look at this race the same way. He’d have to run his very best, but if he snuck in and got third we’d be happy.”


Mettee expects Regal Ransom to get the same stalking trip he got in the Sir Shackleton.


“If you saw him in the Sir Shackleton, that was a pretty fast pace,” said Mettee. “He was good enough there, and freshened up I don’t think he’ll be too far back. It doesn’t seem like there’s a tremendous amount of pace [in the Forego].”


Ramon Dominguez has the assignment aboard Regal Ransom, who drew post 8 and was installed at 6-1 on the morning line.


The Forego field also includes Golddigger’s Boy, winner of five straight, including the Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap in his most recent start; Hamazing Destiny, second in last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and sixth in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt on August 7; Escrow Kid, third in the James Marvin; and Rule by Night, who is cross-entered in Thursday’s Island Whirl overnight stakes.


The field for the Grade 1, $250,000 Forego:








Jackson Bend (FL)

C S Nakatani


N P Zito



Sidney's Candy (KY)

J R Velazquez


T A Pletcher



Golddigger's Boy (PA)

S Elliott


R Preciado



Jersey Town (KY)

C H Velasquez


B Tagg



Hamazing Destiny (KY)

R Albarado


D W Lukas



Escrow Kid (FL)

O Castillo


C Doran



Aikenite (FL)

J Castellano


T A Pletcher



Regal Ransom (KY)

R A Dominguez


S bin Suroor



Rule by Night (KY)

D Cohen


S M Asmussen





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