Sidney's Candy, who ended his terrific 3-year-old season with a romp in the Sir Beaufort (gr. III) last month, will be a heavy favorite when he gets his new campaign underway in the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 15 at Santa Anita.
A field of nine 4-year-olds was drawn for the 1 1/16-mile race on dirt. The middle leg of the Strub series anchors a nine-race Santa Anita card that also includes the $100,000 Sham Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and $150,000 Santa Ynez (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies.
A homebred of the Craig Family Trust, which is headed by Jenny Craig, Sidney’s Candy notched five graded victories in 2010 including the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) in wire-to-wire fashion. That win set the speedy son of Candy Ride up for a run in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), which did not turn out so well, but he came back later in the year to win the La Jolla (gr. IIT) on turf before capping his season in the one-mile Sir Beaufort Dec. 26.
The Sir Beaufort triumph, which was run opening day of the Santa Anita meet and was Sidney’s Candy’s second race on traditional dirt, came in a sparkling time of 1:33.70.
Joel Rosario keeps the mount on Sidney’s Candy, who has earned $893,560 in 11 starts. He has had one work since the Sir Beaufort for trainer John Sadler, that coming Jan. 9 at Santa Anita when blistering five furlongs in :58 flat.
The prime danger to Sidney’s Candy could be trainer Bob Baffert’s late developing Tweebster, a winner of three straight after going winless in his first seven starts. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano will be aboard the gray ridgling owned by Kaleem Shah. A $300,000 sales purchase as a 2-year-old, the son of Tapit will be making his first start over a dirt surface and seeking his first stakes victory. He has earned $121,760 from a 3-3-3 record.
Haimish Hy, the field’s co-high weight with Sidney’s Candy at 123 pounds, is coming off an 11-1 upset victory in the Nov. 28 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) at 1 1/4 miles on turf for trainer Art Sherman. But Haimish Hy, who has done his best racing on grass, will be making his dirt debut in the San Fernando. Joe Talamo will ride the Ecton Park colt, who has produced a 5-1-1 record in 10 starts.
Also in the field is Steve Asmussen trainee Thiskyhasnolimit, who was sixth in the Dec. 26 Malibu (gr. I) at Santa Anita. The son of Sky Mesa showed flashes of brilliance during his two stakes wins as a sophomore and was a solid runner-up to champion Lookin At Luckyin the Indiana Derby (gr. II), but was no match in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) or Malibu. Garrett Gomez keeps the mount.
$150,000 San Fernando (gr. II, Race 8, 4:07 p.m. PST), 4YO, 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Tweebster (KY), R Bejarano, 118, B Baffert
2. Paris Vegas (KY), B Blanc, 118, F Chappet
3. Sidney's Candy (KY), J Rosario, 123, J W Sadler
4. Haimish Hy (KY), J Talamo, 123, A Sherman
5. Do It All (KY), P A Valenzuela, 118, E G Harty
6. Thiskyhasnolimit (KY), G K Gomez, 118, S M Asmussen
7. Indian Firewater (KY), M E Smith, 118, B Baffert
8. Make Music for Me (KY), C Sutherland, 118, A Barba
9. Victory With Honor (KY), A Quinonez, 118, E G Harty