Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Sidney's Candy makes his turf debut in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar Aug. 14.
Jenny Craig's homebred son of Candy Ride is the 121-pound high weight among a solid group of eight 3-year-olds signed on for the 1 1/16-mile La Jolla, the second of Del Mar's stakes series for sophomores on the turf. The $300,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) is Sept. 5.
The La Jolla is the ninth of a 10-race program with a probable post of 6 p.m. PDT.
Sidney's Candy lost his last start, the Swaps Stakes (gr. II) on Hollywood Park's Cushion Track July 17, when nabbed just before the wire as the 1-5 favorite in a four-horse field. Sidney's Candy opened up a clear lead in the stretch but could not hold off Skipshot in the Swaps. He lost by a head in his only start since finishing 17th after a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 1 on a sloppy track at Churchill Downs.
John Sadler tabbed Joel Rosario to ride Sidney's Candy, replacing Joe Talamo, who was sidelined for the duration of the Del Mar meet when he fractured a wrist Aug. 5. Talamo rode Sidney's Candy in all eight of the chestnut colt's prior races.
Sidney's Candy worked six furlongs on the Del Mar turf Aug. 8 in 1:11 4/5, the fastest of six who drilled that day. He will spot his La Jolla foes from two to six pounds apiece.
Besides the Santa Anita Derby, Sidney's Candy won the San Vicente (gr. II) and San Felipe (gr. II) stakes at Santa Anita this year and has banked $713,416.
Other leading contenders in the La Jolla include Leroy's Dynameaux, who won the Will Rogers Stakes (gr. IIIT) at 13-1 odds at Hollywood Park in his last start June 20, and Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) winner Golden Itiz, who like Sidney's Candy, is making his grass bow in the La Jolla.
Ellenay Racing's Leroy's Dynameaux, a son of Leroidesanimaux trained by Mark Glatt, rallied five paths wide from well off the pace to score a neck victory in the 1 1/16-mile Will Rogers, which was the dark bay gelding's second start on turf. Rafael Bejarano takes over the mount from Rosario.
Among those Leroy's Dynameaux beat in the Will Rogers was third-place finisher Macias, who returned to run second in the opening-day Oceanside Stakes for Zayat Stables and trainer Bob Baffert July 21. He finished 2 1/4 lengths behind the impressive Twirling Candy , another Craig homebred for Sadler that is skipping the La Jolla.
The only other starter in the field to take part in the one-mile Oceanside is John and Cheryl Toffan's three-time turf winner Face and an Ace, who ran fifth for trainer Paco Gonzalez.
Jay Em Ess Stable's Golden Itiz brings a three-race winning streak into the La Jolla following his half-length score over seven rivals as the odds-on choice in the June 19 Affirmed at Hollywood Park. The son of Tiznow won an optional claiming race by more than 11 lengths on the Cushion Track for trainer Ron Ellis prior to his stakes debut in the Affirmed. Patrick Valenzuela rides.
An intriguing possibility is Summer Movie, who returns to the turf after a pair of graded races on the main track at Hollywood. Trained by Art Sherman for theater chain owner George Krikorian, Summer Movie won two of four starts on turf, breaking his maiden on the grass at Oak Tree last fall and taking an optional claimer at Hollywood April 23. Both turf wins came at the one-mile distance.
Following a dismal effort in the Arlington Classic, Summer Movie was switched to Cushion Track. He finished an even fourth in the Affirmed and made a strong late bid to finish third in the Swaps, beaten by just a half-length. Victor Espinoza picks up the mount on Summer Movie with Martin Garcia sticking with Macias. Summer Movie earned some notice when he turned in a five-furlong drill on the Del Mar lawn in :59 3/5 Aug. 5.
Irish-bred Kid Edward is the only horse in the field with a victory on the Del Mar turf, rallying for a 1 1/4-length win over an optional claiming field at the La Jolla distance July 23. That was his first start since breaking his maiden at Santa Anita in a one-mile turfer Dec. 27. James Cassidy trains the Singspiel colt for the Gould Family Trust.
Alphie's Bet, who broke his maiden on the Santa Anita grass with a big closing effort in January, offered no late bid in his last start in the Swaps. He finished a close third in the Affirmed prior to that.
$150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 9, 6 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Leroy's Dynameaux (KY), R Bejarano, 118, M Glatt
2. Sidney's Candy (KY), J Rosario, 121, J W Sadler
3. Macias (KY), M Garcia, 118, B Baffert
4. Summer Movie (KY), V Espinoza, 116, A Sherman
5. Kid Edward (IRE), D R Flores, 115, J M Cassidy
6. Face and an Ace (KY), B Blanc, 115, J P Gonzalez
7. Golden Itiz (KY), P A Valenzuela, 118, R W Ellis
8. Alphie's Bet (CA) M E Smith, 119, A Barba