Updated on 06/23/2011 9:55AM

Saratoga's Whitney may be next for newly acquired Sidney's Candy

Benoit & Associates
Sidney's Candy, now based in New York with Todd Pletcher, could make his first start for his new connections in the Whitney Handicap at Saratoga.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Sidney’s Candy, a graded stakes winner on three surfaces, could be headed back to the dirt, with the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 6 being mentioned as a possible next start by his new connections.

“We’re looking at that as a possibility,’’ said Elliott Walden, the president and CEO of WinStar Farm, which purchased Sidney’s Candy privately from Jenny Craig earlier this month. “It’s undecided at this point, but it’s certainly an option.’’

Following the sale, Sidney’s Candy was moved to trainer Todd Pletcher from John Sadler's barn in Southern California. On Sunday, Sidney’s Candy had his first workout for Pletcher, breezing four furlongs in 49.73 seconds over Belmont Park’s main track.

“I thought he went well,’’ Pletcher said Monday morning. “It was kind of a get-to-know him breeze; he was nice and settled.’’

Sidney’s Candy, a 4-year-old son of Candy Ride, has won 6 of 13 starts. At 3, he won the San Vicente, San Felipe, and Santa Anita Derby over Santa Anita’s synthetic surface. Last summer, he won the La Jolla Handicap on turf at Del Mar before finishing sixth, beaten three lengths by Goldikova, in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, also on turf.

He ended his 3-year-old season by winning the Sir Beaufort Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths, a race scheduled for the turf but run over Santa Anita’s newly renovated dirt surface. He ran a mile in 1:33.70. In two starts this year at Hollywood Park, Sidney’s Candy finished second in the Mervyn LeRoy on Cushion Track and was beaten a nose by Ryehill Dreamer in the Grade 2 American Handicap on turf.

“That’s one of thing things I liked about him – he had won on three surfaces and showed speed on all three surfaces,’’ Walden said. “He set a track record on Poly and turf and ran a mile in 1:33-and-3 on dirt. He’s a horse that’s high quality; we’ll see what transpires as Todd works him. I think the Whitney is certainly a possibility.’’

Pletcher said Sidney’s Candy would not have a prep race before the Whitney if that indeed becomes the race of choice.

Meanwhile, Pletcher said Awesome Maria came out of Saturday’s victory in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap in good shape and would be pointed to the Grade 1 Ruffian at Saratoga on July 31, provided the weights are to Pletcher’s liking.