Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Sidney's Candy continued to show his affinity for Churchill Downs when he zipped six furlongs in 1:11 3/5 the morning of Saturday, April 24.
With jockey Joe Talamo aboard during the work over a sloppy main track, the son of Candy Ride worked in company with Via Verde. The colt, who has won four of six starts and earned $673,560, started a length behind his workmate and ended up nine lengths in front. His fractional splits were :12 1/5, :24, :35 1/5, :46, and :58 4/5. He galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26 1/5.
Sadler said he would have preferred to have Sidney’s Candy’s final workout over a better track, but said he believed the surface was better Saturday than it would be Sunday, April 25. Although the rain had stopped and skies were clear by mid-morning, additional rain was forecast for later in the day Saturday.
"It was a good work out there today," said trainer John Sadler, who also has Line of David pointed toward the May 1 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). "I would have preferred to have prepped over a fast track, but I didn’t have a choice. The conditions were less than ideal, but I think today was going to be better than tomorrow."
The trainer said it was clear after the workout that Sidney’s Candy, who has made all of his starts on artificial tracks in California, can handle off tracks.
"You are kind of guessing how well your horse is going to like the mud because in California we don’t have a lot of real mud any more, so it’s kind of a guess," Sadler said. He noted that Candy Ride, the sire of Sidney’s Candy, was bred in Argentina and that South American-bred horses and their offspring generally have good off-track form.
Overall, Sadler said he believes Sidney’s Candy has the ability to win the Derby, but acknowledged that it takes more than ability. "He’s a nice horse, and I think he will run well. You need all those things and good luck to win this race."
Talamo, who flew back to California following the workout to ride until April 29 (Thursday before the Derby), was impressed with how the colt handled the sloppy track.
"He handled it great," Talamo said. "He skipped right over it. If it rains on Derby Day, I won’t be mad."
Talamo said he was glad to return to the Derby with a legitimate contender after what happened during his first Derby experience in 2009. Talamo was prepared for a classic run with morning-line favorite I Want Revenge when the colt was scratched on the morning of the Derby due to an injury.
"You just hope you will be back, but you never know if it will be next year or 20 years," Talamo said. "It’s nice to be back the next year with a solid contender."
Talamo said Sidney’s Candy is "such a classy horse. He’s versatile. He rates real nice and has a good turn of foot. He’s showing all the signs of a good horse."
Bred in Kentucky by Jenny Craig and her late husband Sid, Sidney’s Candy races for the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust. In addition to the Santa Anita Derby (VIDEO), the colt has won both of his two other 2010 starts—the San Felipe (VIDEO) and San Vicente (VIDEO), both grade II.