08/16/2010 3:38PM

Sidney's Candy opens new door

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Benoit & Associates
Sidney's Candy sets a Del Mar course record making his turf debut in the La Jolla Handicap.

DEL MAR, Calif. – The runaway, course-record victory by Sidney’s Candy in his turf debut in the La Jolla Handicap on Saturday at Del Mar has opened a new range of possibilities for future starts, trainer John Sadler said Monday morning, with the Breeders’ Cup Mile, on grass, among the longer-term goals.

“You’ve got to be thinking about that kind of stuff,” Sadler said.

Sidney’s Candy got a Beyer Speed Figure of 102 for running 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:39.52, but it was the freakish way he won that stood out. After being hounded through a hot pace by Macias, he left that rival on the far turn, opened up a huge margin at midstretch, and coasted home.

“He worked so well on the turf here,” Sadler said. “It was just a wonderful work, so we thought, ‘Let’s try this.’ We thought he’d like it. But we were not expecting that.”

Macias, who was vanned from the track, was “exhausted,” but otherwise uninjured, according to Jim Barnes, the assistant to trainer Bob Baffert.

Sadler said the pedigree of Sidney’s Candy gave him confidence he would make the transition. Sidney’s Candy is by Candy Ride, who won stakes races on both turf and dirt, and his dam, Fair Exchange, is by Storm Cat and is out of the mare Exchange, a top-class grass runner.

“The Candy Rides run on anything,” Sadler said. “Dirt, turf, synthetic.”

Immediate options for Sidney’s Candy, according to Sadler, include, in chronological order, the Del Mar Derby on Sept. 5, the Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 25, and the Oak Tree Mile in October. The Del Mar Derby seems the least likely of the three in that Sidney’s Candy would have to come back just 22 days following a monster effort, and Sadler has Twirling Candy, the unbeaten winner of the Oceanside Stakes, awaiting that race. Jenny Craig owns both colts.

“It’s nice to have the luxury to slot them in,” Sadler said.

Wasted Tears will rest up a bit

Bart Evans just can wait to get on the road again. The breeder, owner, and trainer of Wasted Tears on Monday said he would let Wasted Tears rest a few days before heading back to his ranch in Midland, Texas, from which he has launched a cross-country assault that has seen Wasted Tears win seven straight races, most recently the John C. Mabee on Sunday.

“I’ll let her chill out,” Evans said on another cool, cloudy morning, the unseasonable norm this summer at Del Mar. “I’ll hate to leave this weather. When we head back over the mountains it’ll be 100 degrees.”

Even though Wasted Tears was in a prolonged stretch battle only 14 hours earlier, she looked eager for action on Monday morning, dragging Kelly Gaffney, her exercise rider, all around the stable area. And it was quite clear who was leading whom.

“She’s always been that way,” Evans said. “She was aloof around her mother even when she was a baby, when all the other foals were looking for their mothers.”

Evans said the next likely start for Wasted Tears would be the Grade 1 First Lady on Oct. 9 at Keeneland, where Wasted Tears won the Jenny Wiley in April. Wasted Tears has won 11 of 16 overall, and 11 of 14 on turf, including five graded stakes, but has yet to win a Grade 1.

“I’d love to get her a Grade 1 win,” Evans said. “I train 16 horses, all my own. My desire is to end up with a horse good enough to take me somewhere.”

Welcome to Del Mar

Rajiv Maragh, who rode Wasted Tears, had never been here before. He did not have any prior mounts on Sunday’s card, so he headed back to Saratoga on Sunday night with a perfect lifetime record at Del Mar.

For a summertime resort at the beach, Maragh, like the locals here this year, found the weather surprisingly cool.

“I just came with a T-shirt, no long sleeves,” he said.

Cecil’s Classic pair work

Isle of Giant’s and Crowded House, the horses trainer Ben Cecil is pointing for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 28, had their next-to-last works for that race on Monday morning, with Isle of Giant’s appearing the best of the two in a team drill.

Isle of Giant’s, with Patrick Valenzuela aboard, broke off at the six-furlong pole several lengths in front of Crowded House and jockey Rafael Bejarano, and though Crowded House closed the gap by the top of the stretch, he was under energetic urging, and did not change leads, through the stretch while failing to gain any ground in the final quarter-mile on Isle of Giant’s, who was well within himself.

Crowded House was officially credited with a five-furlong time of 1:00.60, while Isle of Giant’s was given a five-furlong time of 1:01.20.

“We got what we wanted,” Cecil said.

Cee’s Pryme stretching out

Cee’s Pryme, a sharp debut winner sprinting on July 30, should be favored when he stretches out around two turns in Wednesday’s fifth race, a first-level allowance for California-breds.

“I feel very strongly that a mile is going to be his best suit,” said Carla Gaines, who trains Cee’s Pryme. “I wonder if I’m running him back too soon. But I want to run him long so badly I went for it. I thought he was good enough to win sprinting, but I didn’t like that he had the one hole. But it worked out.”

Attendance up, handle down

Just past the halfway point of the meet, ontrack attendance is up, and overall handle is down, when compared with last year.

Through the first 20 days of the 37-day meeting, the on-track attendance average is 19,177, an increase of 3.1 percent over last year.

Overall handle is averaging $11,904,449, a dip of 5 percent from last year. The ontrack handle is averaging $2,216,095, a drop of 7.2 percent from last year.

Compared to last year, 11 fewer races (174 vs. 185) have been run at this point in the meet.

Canani fined

Trainer Julio Canani has been fined $1,000 by Del Mar track stewards for failing to notify racing officials that a horse he started at Hollywood Park was racing as a gelding for the first time.

Sulution finished second in the eighth race, for maiden claimers over 6 1/2 furlongs, at Hollywood Park on May 27. The race was Sulution’s first start since July 2009.

Trainers are required to notify racing officials when horses have been gelded. In recent years, the California Horse Racing Board has enacted severe penalties against trainers who have not complied with the rule.

◗ Capital Account and Rapport, both trained by Bob Baffert, worked on Monday in preparation for likely starts at Saratoga on Aug. 28. Rapport went a half-mile in 46.80 seconds, the best time of 46 at the distance. She is likely for the Grade 3 Victory Ride for 3-year-old fillies, according to Barnes. Capital Account worked a half-mile in 47.20 seconds and could be headed to the Grade 1 King’s Bishop.

– additional reporting by Steve Andersen