09/08/2008 11:00PM

'Candyman' won't be 19-1 again


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - The 2-year-old gelding Capt. Candyman Can paid more than $40 when he won a maiden race in his career debut, but in Saturday's Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity, Capt. Candyman Can will be a much shorter price.

A blowout win over straight maidens at Saratoga will have that effect. One of just 12 horses that trainer Ian Wilkes shipped from Kentucky to New York for the challenging competition there, Capt. Candyman Can debuted on Aug. 13 at the Spa with a noteworthy result. Racing well behind a scalding early pace in a 5 1/2-furlong race, Capt. Candyman Can whistled off the turn and drew rapidly away from the other five horses in the race, opening up a lead of more than seven lengths at the finish.

"I definitely thought he could run some," said trainer Ian Wilkes. "That's why we took him up there."

Wilkes did not believe Capt. Candyman Can would have been ready for the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes less than three weeks later. So, instead of running back at Saratoga, Wilkes took Capt. Candyman Can back home to the Skylight Training Center in Kentucky, where Capt. Candyman Can breezed five furlongs Monday. Capt. Candyman Can was scheduled to ship to Arlington on Wednesday, and will get a couple of training days over the Arlington surface before lining up for the one-mile Futurity.

Wilkes has worked for years with trainer Carl Nafzger, whose habit is to bring young horses along at a measured pace.

"My style, like Carl, is I'm not trying to win first time out," Wilkes said. "If they do, they're doing it on their own. This horse did a lot of things right in his race. He was very professional."

Capt. Candyman Can is a son of the Argentine horse Candy Ride, and out of a mare by Storm Creek, a pedigree that suggests a one-turn mile should be well within his scope.

Arlington racing officials are expecting a large field for the Futurity, which was to be drawn on Wednesday.

C.S. Silk may not need another prep

C.S. Silk showed she belongs in the conversation about the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with a powerful win last Saturday in the Arlington-Washington Lassie. Now, her connections must decide how best to get her there.

Trainer Dale Romans said Tuesday that C.S. Silk had come out of her six-length Lassie win in good physical condition, and she was scheduled to return to the track on Wednesday morning. Making her third start, facing other winners for the first time, stretching out from sprints to one mile, and racing over her first synthetic surface, C.S. Silk made short work of the Lassie field, contesting a hot pace before drawing easily away in the stretch.

Romans said C.S. Silk could go to the Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland, but he is giving serious consideration to training up to the Breeders' Cup.

"We've already had three races, we've already been a route of ground, we've already run over synthetic, and she ran well with seven weeks between her maiden win and this race," he said. "If you go to the Alcibiades, it's only three weeks back to the Breeders' Cup."

Plans for Closeout unclear

Closeout won the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes on Saturday, and the Pucker Up winner has come back to capture the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup in two of the last four years, but that does not mean that Closeout will be heading to the Grade 1 turf race at Keeneland. Trainer Tom Proctor said Tuesday that he was told Closeout had been consigned to the also-eligible list in the invitation-only QE II. Keeneland racing officials couldn't be reached to confirm Closeout's status on Tuesday.

Proctor said Closeout, who won her first graded stakes on Saturday, had come out of the race in good shape. He mentioned another grass stakes at Keeneland, the Valley View, as a possible spot if Closeout does not get into the QE II, but said that Closeout wasn't being pointed to a specific spot just yet.

No broken bones for Campbell

Contrary to initial reports, jockey Jesse Campbell did not sustain a broken shoulder in a one-horse spill here Saturday. Campbell could not be reached Tuesday, but his father, the trainer Mike Campbell, said his son did not break any bones when his mount in the Honor Glide Stakes, Gangbuster, clipped heels and fell on the Arlington turf course.

"There's nothing fractured. That's confirmed at this point," Mike Campbell said.

Campbell did, however, injure his rotator cuff. Mike Campbell said that "the initial thought is that he doesn't have to have surgery," but that Campbell "was in a lot of pain."

Campbell spent Saturday night at the hospital, and went home Sunday. He almost certainly will miss the rest of the Arlington meet, where he was second-leading rider entering this week.

Saygoodnightgracie better on turf

The Illinois-bred filly Saygoodnightgracie won a $15,000 maiden claimer on dirt, and a $10,000 nonwinners-of-two claimer on Polytrack, but since switching to turf in July, Saygoodnightgracie has become an altogether different - and better - racehorse.

A close second in her grass debut, Saygoodnightgracie overcame traffic trouble and easily won an Illinois-bred entry-level turf allowance race on Aug. 23, and she could easily notch her second straight grass win in the featured fifth race here Thursday.

Saygoodnightgracie, coupled in the wagering with Mary Abbott, was one of 10 fillies and mares entered in a one-mile grass race for second-level Illinois-bred allowance horses.