02/16/2010 1:00AM

Sidney's Candy crushes San Vicente

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Benoit & Associates
Sidney's Candy put himself in the Kentucky Derby picture with a 4 1/4-length win in Monday's Grade 2 San Vicente at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. - 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 victory in the for 3-year-olds on Monday at Santa Anita.

Sidney's Candy ($6.20), the favorite in te seven-horse field, broke sharply from the gate, led every step of the way through fractions of 22.77 seconds, 45.50, and 1:08.62 for the first six furlongs, and was increasing his margin through the lane en route to a final time of 1:20.91 for seven furlongs on Pro-Ride. Joe Talamo was aboard.

Tiny Woods, who chased the winner throughout, finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of third-place Classical Slew.

"I thought he'd run back to his form at Del Mar," said John Sadler, who trains Sidney's Candy. Sidney's Candy is owned by Jenny Craig, who named the horse in memory of her late husband.

Sidney's Candy was a narrow loser of his debut at Del Mar, then beat maidens by four lengths. But after going to the sidelines with sore shins, he finished fourth of five in an allowance race at Santa Anita. Sadler said Sidney's Candy was a little heavy for the race, then was compromised by a slow start.

"He's kind of a free-running horse," Sadler said.