Sidney's Candy , being readied for his start of the year in the $150,000 Mervyn Leroy Handicap (gr. II) at Hollywood Park May 7, worked seven furlongs in a sharp 1:24 over the Cushion Track May 1.
“Beautiful,” said trainer John Sadler after watching the drill, the fastest of three at the distance on a busy morning at Hollywood. “He couldn’t be better. He’s fresh and ready for the second half of the year.”
Jenny Craig's multiple stakes-winning 4-year-old son of Candy Ride will make his first start since winning the off-the-turf Sir Beaufort Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Dec. 26. He had been hampered by minor injuries to a foot and his hind end.
In the Mervyn Leroy, Sidney’s Candy will be ridden for the first time by Alonso Quinonez. The colt's previous jockeys, Joel Rosario and Joe Talamo, will be in Kentucky next weekend.
Sidney’s Candy, a graded stakes winner on synthetic, turf, and dirt, has won six of 11 starts and earned $893,560. The Mervyn LeRoy, at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track, is the first stepping stone for the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 9.
In his only previous start at Hollywood, Sidney’s Candy was nipped by Skipshot at the wire as the 1-5 favorite in the Swaps Stakes (gr. II) last July.
Sadler said that Craig's multiple stakes-winning stablemate Twirling Candy is also back galloping, giving the trainer a potent 1-2 punch in the handicap division here on both surfaces.
Other probable starters in the Mervyn LeRoy include Crown of Thorns (Tyler Baze), Honour the Deputy (Brice Blanc), and Spurrier (Chantal Sutherland). Spurrier worked five furlongs in :59, and Honour the Deputy was clocked in 1:26 for seven panels.