08/14/2010 10:15PM

Sidney's Candy sets course record in La Jolla

Benoit Photo
Sidney's Candy sets a Del Mar course record in Saturday's La Jolla.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Stakes wins are seldom as dramatic as Sidney’s Candy’s in Saturday’s $150,000 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar.

Sidney’s Candy dueled with Macias through a quick pace, the pair drawing off by as many as 16 lengths on the backstretch. When Macias tired on the final turn, Sidney’s Candy just kept going under jockey Joel Rosario. Sidney’s Candy led by 13 at the eighth pole and by 5 1/2 lengths at the wire, finishing 1 1/16 miles on turf in course record time of 1:39.52.

Not bad for a turf debut.

Sidney’s Candy ($4.80) won his fourth stakes in the Grade 2 La Jolla, giving owner Jenny Craig and trainer John Sadler an interesting dilemma in coming weeks. They can start Sidney’s Candy or stablemate Twirling Candy, the winner of the Oceanside Stakes here on July 21, in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 5. Another option for Sidney’s Candy is the Pennsylvania Derby on conventional dirt at Philadelphia Park in September, Sadler said.

After the La Jolla, Sadler was just happy that Sidney’s Candy did not fade from contention after setting a quick pace of 23.10 and 45.81 seconds. “When I put the saddle on him, I could feel he was a little tensed up,” Sadler said. “I told Joel, ‘You can’t fight with him. You’ve got to let him relax.’

“We knew he’d take care of that other horse, but we wondered if he’d set it up for a closer. That was a fast race and let’s see how he comes out of it. I think he’s one of the best 3-year-olds in the country.”

Sidney’s Candy has won 5 of 9 starts and $803,560. By Candy Ride, Sidney’s Candy won the Santa Anita Derby in April, but was 17th in the Kentucky Derby.

Kid Edward, making his stakes debut in his fourth start, emerged to finish second, a half-length behind Alphie’s Bet, who was ridden by Mike Smith. Macias faded to finish last in the field of eight, and was vanned off because of concern over his right foreleg, according to track stewards.

Earlier in the day, Smith was unseated from Fantasy Free when the 5-year-old gelding broke down while nearing the leaders in the stretch of an optional claimer over 6 1/2 furlongs. Smith took off two mounts, but returned to ride the stakes. He said his shoulder was sore. Fantasy Free was euthanized.