09/03/2010 2:45PM

One last prep before Twirling Candy takes on heavy hitters

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DEL MAR, Calif. – The fall racing season is about to get a lot more interesting for undefeated Twirling Candy, the likely odds-on favorite Sunday in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby.

Six entered the 1 1/8-mile grass race for 3-year-olds, in which lone front-runner Twirling Candy and improving stretch-runner Kid Edward figure one-two in the cinch exacta of summer.

But the $300,000 derby is the last easy spot for Oceanside winner Twirling Candy. He will return to the main track in fall, while La Jolla winner Sidney’s Candy, also trained by Sadler and owned by Jenny Craig, will stay on turf. Both will move up in class.

“They will both go against older at Oak Tree,” Sadler said, “Sidney’s Candy in the Oak Tree Mile, and Twirling Candy in the Goodwood.”

Twirling Candy’s win in the Oceanside was impressive, but Sidney’s Candy produced the top performance of summer when he set a course record (1:39.52) in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap at 1 1/16 miles.

“Sidney’s Candy was so brilliant on turf, it doesn’t make sense to switch him [to the main track],” Sadler said.

Sidney’s Candy runs Oct. 9 in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile; the tentative plan for Twirling Candy is to face older Oct. 2 in the Grade 1 Goodwood at 1 1/8 miles on the Hollywood Park main track.

“If you look at the handicap division, you’re not going to say it is loaded,” Sadler said.

Twirling Candy won the first two starts of his career on the Hollywood main track, where the 2010 Oak Tree meet will be held.

Pending their autumn races, Twirling Candy and Sidney’s Candy could both end up in Breeders’ Cup races. First, 3-for-3 Twirling Candy must take care of business Sunday in the derby. He is the best horse and the lone front-runner.

“I prefer him to sit second, just from a seasoning standpoint,” Sadler said.

That is not likely. Instead, Twirling Candy should fall into an uncontested lead.

“He has a high cruising speed; he’s not going to have any problem if he has to do that,” Sadler said.

Joel Rosario rides Twirling Candy; David Flores rides Kid Edward, runner-up to Sidney’s Candy in the La Jolla. Kid Edward, 2 for 4, has improved each start. He will be finishing.

Jairzihno, Royal F J, Summer Movie, and Fantastic Pick are also entered in the derby, which goes as race 5 on a 10-race card.