02/17/2010 12:00AM

Sadler wants top prospects kept apart

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Benoit & Associates
Dave in Dixie (far left) finished second in the Grade 2 Lewis on Saturday behind Caracortado (center, green silks).

ARCADIA, Calif. - A win, a second, and an incomplete. For trainer John Sadler, his weekend was pretty darn good, and sets the stage for better things to come.

Sadler has at least two promising 3-year-olds in Sidney's Candy and Dave in Dixie. The jury is still out on Domonation. Sidney's Candy, rebounding from a surprisingly flat try in his comeback race six weeks ago, added his name to the list of top Kentucky Derby contenders with an overpowering, 4 1/4-length in the on Monday at Santa Anita.

That was a salve for the frustration Sadler experienced earlier in the day, when he learned that Oaklawn Park, where Domonation was sent for the Southwest Stakes on Monday, had to abandon its card after four races because of freezing weather. Domonation was sent there after the Robert Lewis Stakes, originally scheduled Feb. 6, was postponed at Santa Anita. Rather than come back in the Lewis last Saturday, Sadler sent Domonation to Arkansas.

Sadler did run Dave in Dixie in the Lewis, and he was .

Sadler said he will do his best to keep his Derby prospects apart in coming weeks. He said Sidney's Candy likely would head out of town, most likely for the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 6.

"There's a lot of choices," he said. "We'll look around the country. He needs more graded earnings. And he needs to go two turns."

Dave in Dixie will remain here for the Grade 2, $150,000 San Felipe Stakes on March 13. And Domonation will stay at Oaklawn for the Southwest, which is scheduled to be brought back this Saturday.

Sidney's Candy had been highly regarded since Del Mar, when he crushed maidens in his second start while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 99. But he went to the sidelines with sore shins, and when he returned, he was flat, finishing fourth of five in a first-level allowance race on Dec. 30.

"He had been off four months, was heavy, and didn't break," Sadler said. "He's kind of a free-running horse. I wanted him to do what he does, bounce out of there and show his natural speed."