07/15/2010 3:39PM

Sidney's Candy out to kick-start his year in Swaps Stakes


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The most accomplished 3-year-old in California during the Santa Anita winter meeting was Sidney’s Candy, who won three stakes, including the Santa Anita Derby.

The most disappointing California-based horse in the Kentucky Derby on May 1 was Sidney’s Candy, who faded from contention on the final turn to finish 17th.

Following that loss, there were no more Triple Crown starts for Sidney’s Candy. He returned to California with Saturday’s $200,000 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park as a midsummer goal. For the Grade 2 Swaps, Sidney’s Candy will once again be the focus of California 3-year-old division. He has just four rivals in the race over 1 1/8 miles.

A win by Sidney’s Candy in the Swaps could lead to a start in the $1 million Pacific Classic against older horses at Del Mar on Aug. 28. Judging from quick recent workouts, two six-furlong and two seven-furlongs works since June 20, Sidney’s Candy may prove tough to beat on Saturday.

“He’s back to himself,” trainer John Sadler said. “You’ll see him back on his form. He’s ready to go.”

As for the Kentucky Derby, Sadler said the colt has shown no ill effects from the comprehensive loss. “I think maybe he displaced or something,” Sadler said, referring to breathing problems.

Sidney’s Candy has won 4 of 7 starts and $673,560 for owner Jenny Craig. She and Sadler have also entered Twirling Candy in the Swaps, but he is more likely to run at Del Mar.

Sidney’s Candy is likely to lead, and will the obvious target for the other runners- Skipshot, Alphie’s Bet, and Summer Movie, who were second through fourth in the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap over 1 1/16 miles here on June 19.

Aside form Sidney’s Candy, Alphie’s Bet is the only other stakes winner in the field, having won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in March and the Snow Chief Stakes against statebreds here in April. Alphie’s Bet was last of 10 against older horses in the Grade 2 Jim Murray Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf on May 15, but rebounded in the Affirmed, losing by a length after a late rally.“I thought he ran great,” trainer Alexis Barba said. “He came flying and made up a lot of ground.”The Swaps distance suits Alphie’s Bet, who will need a career-best performance to beat Sidney’s Candy.