10/25/2011 3:34PM

Breeders' Cup Clocker: Sidney's Candy zips home on turf

Barbara D. Livingston
Sidney’s Candy works four furlongs in 50.84 seconds on the Churchill Downs turf course Tuesday morning.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With the majority of the Breeders’ Cup contenders currently stabled on the grounds at Churchill Downs having worked over the weekend, action was limited during training hours Tuesday. In fact, the two most noteworthy events took place nearly four hours apart, when Classic contenders Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty made their first visit to the track shortly after the course opened for training at 6 a.m. and Sidney’s Candy closed out the morning’s activity by working a half-mile on the turf just before 10 a.m.

Temperatures were in the mid-40s when Uncle Mo stepped on the track at 6 a.m but rose steadily throughout the course of the morning, reaching the mid-60s by the time Sidney’s Candy had returned to trainer Todd Pletcher’s barn under bright, sunny skies.

Sidney’s Candy (four furlongs in 50.84 seconds on the turf) –The turf course was officially rated firm but still seemed to be holding a pretty fair amount of water when Sidney’s Candy broke away at a very relaxed pace leaving the half-mile marker, cruising through an opening quarter-mile around the dogs (orange cones used to protect the inside of the course) in 27.41. But once exiting the turn and hitting the home straight, Sidney’s Candy picked up the pace appreciably, zipping through a final quarter in 23.43 under very mild pressure before galloping out five-eighths in 1:03.37 while holding a straight course throughout. This was in direct contrast to his final drill before the 2010 Mile, when he was very aggressive leaving the pole to begin the work and needed some left-handed sticking to keep from lugging into the dogs when taking a bit of an erratic path near the eighth pole. He still faces a question about carrying his speed the distance whether he again goes in the Mile, as expected, or the Dirt Mile after having been pre-entered in both races, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.

Uncle Mo (Classic) did little more than jog one mile the wrong way on the track while accompanied by a stable pony in his first visit to this track since being scratched the day before the 2011 Kentucky Derby.

Stay Thirsty (Classic), in contrast,  galloped a mile in his first trip over the Churchill Downs track since finishing 12th in this year’s Derby, coming past the wire on his left lead but appearing to be on his toes and full of energy after pulling up and while making his way back to the barn.

To Honor and Serve (Classic) surprisingly showed up Tuesday equipped with blinkers, a special set with only a single cup on the right side, when returning to the track for the first time since working five furlongs here Sunday. The Pennsylvania Derby winner, who does not race or work in blinkers, did keep a straight course while galloping nicely past the wire with the new equipment.

Drosselmeyer (Classic) looked extremely sharp during his 1 1/2-mile gallop, which began after a brief visit to the paddock. He reportedly worked extremely well here Saturday morning and obviously is showing no ill effects from the fast work, which came in company with stablemate Birdrun (Marathon).

Shackleford (Dirt Mile) was the last of the Breeders’ Cup contenders to gallop over the main track Tuesday, looking as strong and aggressive as he did in the days leading up to his big performance in the Kentucky Derby here last spring.