12/29/2009 12:00AM

Sidney's Candy has bigger goals

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ARCADIA, Calif. - The road toward the spring classics begins Wednesday for Sidney's Candy, a 2-year-old by Candy Ride who enters winter as one of the most highly regarded colts in Southern California.

"We think he's one of our best prospects, I'm not afraid to say that," trainer John Sadler said, which is understandable. In his second start Aug. 22 at Del Mar, Sidney's Candy crushed maidens by four lengths while earning a 99 Beyer Speed Figure. It was his last start.

Sidney's Candy came out of the win with two sore shins, and although he remained at the track, his campaign was done.

"We just freshened him up to get him ready for" 2010, Sadler said, adding that the six-furlong allowance Wednesday at Santa Anita is a prep race for the Grade 2, seven-furlong San Vicente on Feb. 15.

Joe Talamo rides Sidney's Candy, whose workouts include a bullet six furlongs on Dec. 25 in 1:12. Bred by the late Sid Craig and his wife, Jenny, Sidney's Candy is owned by the Craig Family Trust. Despite four months off, indications are that the colt is ready to fire. He will need to be cranked, because the first-level allowance, race 2, came up strong.

Bob Baffert has a deep cast of soon-to-be 3-year-olds, including two entered Wednesday. One-dimensional speedball Tiny Woods will set the pace, while Indian Firewater tries to rebound from a disappointing fifth-place finish Nov. 21 in the Hollywood Prevue.

Indian Firewater lost to Sidney's Candy first out and then improved in two subsequent starts. He won a fast Del Mar maiden race and followed that with a runner-up finish in an allowance at Oak Tree. Baffert will excuse Indian Firewater for his dull Prevue effort.

"He was really flat, he wasn't himself in the paddock . . . he lost weight, he was going through something," Baffert said.

Whatever the reason, Baffert expects Indian Firewater to improve Wednesday.

"He's doing much better, he's back to his old self," Baffert said.

Garrett Gomez rides.

Front-runner Tiny Woods, who beat Sidney's Candy first out at Del Mar, is expected to set the pace. Tiny Woods finished third Nov. 21 at Golden Gate, his first start in three months.

"He needed that race really bad," Baffert said.

Tiny Woods's jockey is Martin Garcia, who has ridden nine winners from his last 18 mounts for Baffert.