Santa Anita News
SIDNEY’S CANDY WIRES GR. II SAN FELIPE, ROCKETS TO TOP TIER DERBY STATUS
By BETH HARRIS
AP Racing Writer
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Calling Sidney's Candy a frontrunner on the Kentucky Derby trail isn't just hype. The colt has led all the way in winning his first two races of the season.
Sidney's Candy won the $150,000 San Felipe Stakes by a half-length on Saturday, sending 3-year-old rival Caracortado to his first loss in six races.
Sidney's Candy covered 1 1-16 miles _ the longest he'd ever run _ on Santa Anita's synthetic surface in 1:42.30 under jockey Joe Talamo.
"The plan was to get to the lead, relax and kick when they came to him," Talamo said. "We knew last summer he was a quality horse and the way he did this today was so impressive. He has the demeanor of an older horse."
Talamo finds himself with a Kentucky Derby contender less than a year after his Derby day ended in bitter disappointment. His mount I Want Revenge became the first morning-line favorite to be scratched on the first Saturday in May, with a leg injury.
Trainer John Sadler is ready to move Sidney's Candy on to the Santa Anita Derby on April 3. He also trains sixth-place finisher Dave in Dixie, whom Sadler said didn't handle the surface or the pace well.
"That's kind of the plan," Sadler said about Sidney's Candy. "We'll see how he comes out of it."
Todd Pletcher-trained Interactif was second and Caracortado third. American Lion was fourth in the field of seven 3-year-olds prepping for Kentucky Derby consideration.
Stephen's Got Hope was fifth and Erbeia last.
Sidney's Candy was bred in Kentucky by diet guru Jenny Craig and her late husband, Sid. She wasn't on hand to see the colt win his second important prep in nearly a month. Sidney's Candy led all the way in winning the San Vicente on the same track on Feb. 15.
Sidney's Candy paid $9.60, $5.20 and $3.20. Interactif returned $6.60 and $3.20, while Caracortado was another 1½ lengths back in third and paid $2.40 as the wagering favorite.
Caracortado ran fourth most of the way, going four-wide into the stretch, but faded late under jockey Paul Atkinson.
"He tried hard. I can't fault him at all," Atkinson said. "They went a little bit slow early, so I had to pick it up in hopes the leader didn't steal it on us. It cost me to ride him a little bit differently."