Following his sensational workout on turf recently at Saratoga, trainer Todd Pletcher decided to enter Sidney's Candy in the $150,000 Fourstardave Handicap (gr. IIT) July 31, where he is up against six rivals.
The 1 1/16-mile Fourstardave would be Sidney's Candy's first start since being acquired by Kenny Troutt’s WinStar Farm in June and turned over to Pletcher. The Whitney Handicap (gr. I) Aug. 6 was also under consideration for the exceedingly quick 4-year-old son of Candy Ride .
WinStar recently sold an interest in Sidney's Candy to Rubio B. Stable.
Sidney's Candy had been working well for Pletcher on dirt for five weeks before being sent to the Oklahoma turf course at Saratoga July 24. Breezing without dogs up, Sidney's Candy drilled five furlongs in :57.54 and was credited with a six-furlong gallop-out time of 1:09.43.
“We were very happy with the way he worked on turf,” said Pletcher. “We were always looking at all of our options with him and we decided on Monday to send him to the Fourstardave.”
Winner of the 2010 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Sidney's Candy is no stranger to turf, winning one of three starts in Southern California for trainer John Sadler.
His victory came by 5 1/2 lengths in the La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar last August. He was second, beaten by a nose, in the American Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood Park lawn in his most recent start May 28. Last summer, he ran sixth in the TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), three lengths behind super-mare Goldikova, after setting a clear pace.
“I think he’s a free-running horse from what we’ve seen in his races in California,” said Pletcher. “My guess is that generally horses that show a lot of speed in California are pretty legitimate speed horses and speed seems to have to done pretty well at the meet so far on the turf course. We’ll see if the rain we had earlier this week changes that leading up to the race, but we’re not looking to be cute and change his style. We’ll let him run his race.”
Bred in Kentucky by the late Sidney Craig and Jenny Craig, Sidney’s Candy is out of the Storm Cat mare Fair Exchange and previously raced for Jenny Craig in the name of the Craig Family Trust.
Sidney's Candy has six wins and four seconds in 13 lifetimes starts and earnings of $953,560. The chestnut colt has not won in two tries in 2011, also finishing second in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) over Hollywood's Cushion Track prior to the American.
John Velazquez takes the reigns on Sidney's Candy, who drew the top weight assignment of 120 pounds and is to break from post 5 in the Fourstardave, which is race 8 on the program with a probable post of 4:55 p.m. EDT. Sidney's Candy is 4-5 on the morning line.
Pletcher also entered Anstu Stables' 7-year-old Blues Street, a two-time graded stakes winner that is coming off a victory over an optional claiming allowance field at 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course at Belmont Park June 16. That was the gelding's first start since being beaten by a nose after a strong late-running effort in the Fort Lauderdale Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park in early January.
Blues Street won the Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT) and the Mervyn H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) consecutively in New Orleans last year.
Four D Stable's Turallure took the Opening Verse Stakes on the Churchill Downs grass June 17 for trainer Charles Lopresti. The 4-year-old son of Wando seeks his first graded stakes win.
Brazilian-bred Moryba, a group I winner in his native country, won his North American debut by two lengths over a high-priced optional claiming field at Gulfstream Park in January. Now trained by Bill Mott for Correas Thoroughbreds, the 5-year-old has lost three in a row against stakes company, most recently finishing fifth in the Colonial Turf Cup June 18.
Last year's Fourstardave winner Get Stormy will miss the race after being diagnosed with what appears to be a minor tendon issue, trainer Tom Bush said after entries were taken July 28.
Fourstardave Handicap (gr. II, Race 8, 4:55 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Inner Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Beau Choix (KY), R A Dominguez, 115, B Tagg
2. Turallure (KY), A O Solis, 116, C Lopresti
3. Blues Street (KY), J Castellano, 118, T A Pletcher
4. Paris Vegas (KY), R Albarado, 114, T H Voss
5. Sidney's Candy (KY), J R Velazquez, 120, T A Pletcher
6. Moryba (BRZ), R Maragh, 116, W I Mott
7. Voodoo Swinge (KY), A Garcia, 114, M R Matz