Sidney’s Candy surges to win in San Vicente Stakes

Sidney’s Candy soared back into the Kentucky Derby picture

Monday night with a victory over Tiny Woods and Classical Slew in

Santa Anita’s 69th running of the seven-furlong $150,000 San

Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Sidney’s Candy matched strides early with

trainer Bob Baffert’s Tiny Woods before leaving his rival behind 4

1/4 lengths when crossing the wire in 1:20.91, the second-fastest

running in a race that has served as a proving ground for nine

Kentucky Derby champions.

“I was confident he’d bounce back with a good effort today,”

Talamo said. “I couldn’t believe that final time. That’s awesome.

It’s very exciting to have a horse of this caliber.”

Tiny Woods, after chasing Sidney’s Candy through fractions of

22.77, 45.50 and 1:08.62, held second by 1 3/4 lengths over

Classical Slew in the field of seven. Baffert’s other entrant, 5-2

second choice Quiet Invader, finished fifth.

Sidney’s Candy paid $6.20, $3.60 and $2.40. Tiny Woods, ridden

by Victor Espinoza, returned $3.80 and $2.60. The show price on

Classical Slew, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, was $4.

Sidney’s Candy generated high expectations following a dazzling

maiden victory last summer at Del Mar, but he stumbled through a

disappointing comeback performance in an allowance event on Dec. 30

at Santa Anita, ending fourth in a five-horse field at odds of 3-5

following four months on the sidelines while sore shins healed.

Sidney’s Candy’s trainer John Sadler said he wasn’t sure what

would be next for the homebred son of Candy Ride.

“The reason I didn’t want to go into an allowance race is

because of the graded earnings for the big stuff,” Sadler said in

a reference to the Kentucky Derby. “He’ll be going around two

turns next time, that’s for sure. Which one of those races it is,

we don’t know yet.”

The victory in the San Vicente was worth $90,000 to Sidney’s

Candy, which lifted his total to $133,560 from a 2-1-0 mark in four

starts. Tiny Woods had beaten him by a head in his first start on

July 25 at Del Mar and again when victorious in the comeback

effort.

Also on Monday, Tuscan Evening captured her eighth victory in 12

U.S. starts in Monday’s co-feature, the $150,000 Buena Vista

Handicap, while defeating 35-1 longshot Eissoai by 2 1/4 lengths

and covering one mile on turf in stakes record time of 1:33.47.

The 5-year-old Irish-bred mare’s U.S. record became 8-1-2 in 12

starts for earnings of $626,555, including the Buena Vista’s

winning share of $90,000. She had arrived with $92,851 in the bank

while still a maiden.

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