Sidney's Candy , one of the top 3-year-olds in the country this season, will take on older horses for the first time in the $150,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park Oct. 9.
A starting berth in the $2 million TVG Breeder's Cup Mile (gr. IT) comes with a victory in the Oak Tree Mile, which will be Sidney's Candy's second start on turf. Jenny Craig's homebred son of Candy Ride set a course record at Del Mar in winning the La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/16 miles Aug. 14 for trainer John Sadler.
Sadler held Sidney's Candy out of the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) three weeks after the La Jolla in favor of his Craig stablemate Twirling Candy , so Sidney's Candy comes into the Oak Tree Mile off a seven-week break.
Sidney's Candy was awesome in the La Jolla, opening up a 13-length advantage in the stretch after dueling for the lead on the backstretch. He finished up 5 1/2 lengths clear of his nearest rival while clocking a time of 1:39.52 over firm footing.
A brilliant winner of the San Vicente (gr. II) and San Felipe (gr. II) stakes as well as the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) this spring, Sidney's Candy brings a 5-2-0 career mark in nine races into the race with earnings of $803,560. Joel Rosario, who rode the chestnut colt for the first time in the La Jolla, retains the mount for Sadler. They'll break from post 5 with 120 pounds.
Only two 3-year-olds – Fantastic Fellow (1997) and War Chant (2000) -- have won the Oak Tree Mile previously.
The Mile, to be contested for the 25th time, attracted six other entrants. It is the fifth race on the program with a 3 p.m. PDT starting time. Also on the card is the $250,000 Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I) for sprinters, which is also part of the Breeders' Cup challenge series.
Victor's Cry will be looking for his third win in four tries on the Hollywood Park turf as the 123-pound top weight.
A 5-year-old son of Street Cry owned by Equilete Stable and trained by Eoin Harty, Victor’s Cry disappointed with a fading ninth-place finish in the Woodbine Mile (Can-IT) in his last start Sept. 19. He was a winner the last time he raced at Hollywood, however. The Virginia-bred ridgling scored a 21-1 upset in the Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) by a head May 31, by far the biggest win of his career.
Victor's Cry has five wins in 19 attempts with a bankroll of $411,021.
In terms of local turf victories, the most accomplished member of the field is California-bred Liberian Freighter.
A 5-year-old Bertrando gelding owned by breeder King Edward Racing Stable and partners Shawn Dugan and Charles Winner, Liberian Freighter has won three of five on the Hollywood Park grass.
Trained by Neil Drysdale, Liberain Freighter is coming off a minor stakes victory on the Del Mar lawn and has won seven of 21 overall with earnings of $481,740. Drysdale has won the Oak Tree Mile a record five times.
Runner-up to Enriched in the Del Mar Mile Handicap (gr. IITT) Aug. 28, Meteore will be seeking the second grade II win of his career. The 4-year-old captured the 2009 La Jolla.
Trained by Richard Mandella for the Wertheimer brothers, the Pulpit colt has won three of 15. His bankroll is $244,276.
Colgan's Chip is a California bred owned by Green Lantern Stables and trained by Jenine Sahadi. The 5-year-old Cee's Tizzy gelding will be making his first appearance in a graded race.
Completing the field are French-bred Blue Chagall, who was supplemented for $3,000 by trainer Julio Canana, and Tropic Storm.
Trained by Craig Dollase for West Point Thoroughbreds, Tropic Storm ran third in the 2008 Oak Tree Mile. Out for nearly two years after that, the 6-year-old Stormy Atlantic gelding has returned with a pair of victories this summer, including a win in Del Mar's Windy Sands Handicap on Polytrack in his most recent try Sept. 4.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Website will offer free, live video streaming of the Oak Tree Mile.
$150,000 Oak Tree Mile Stakes (gr. IT, Race 5, 3 p.m.), 3 & Up (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Meteore (KY), R Bejarano, 119, R E Mandella
2. Victor's Cry (VA), C S Nakatani, 123, E G Harty
3. Blue Chagall (FR), D R Flores, 119, J C Canani
4. Colgan's Chip (CA), B Blanc, 119, J Sahadi
5. Sidney's Candy (KY), J Rosario, 120, J W Sadler
6. Tropic Storm (FL), R A Baze, 119, C Dollase
7. Liberian Freighter (CA), M Garcia, 121, N D Drysdale