10/07/2010 2:09PM

Sidney's Candy tackles older in Oak Tree Mile

Benoit & Associates
Sidney's Candy, winning his turf debut in the La Jolla Handicap, now faces his elders for the first time in the Oak Tree Mile.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The one-mile turf course record of 1:32.59 at Hollywood Park is probably safe in Saturday’s $150,000 Oak Tree Mile.

But then the same could have been said about the Del Mar mark for 1 1/16 miles before Sidney’s Candy zipped around that turf course in record time of 1:39.52 when winning the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap in his debut on the surface on Aug. 14.

For the Grade 2 Oak Tree Mile, Sidney’s Candy will be favored in his first start in a stakes against older horses. In his own age group this year, he has been the dominant horse in California, winning three stakes at Santa Anita, including the Santa Anita Derby and the La Jolla.

The only blemish on his 2010 record was a 17th in the Kentucky Derby on May 1.

Trainer John Sadler is hoping that Sidney’s Candy can be more patient in the Oak Tree Mile than he was in the La Jolla, when he got into a speed duel with Macias, led by as many as 13 lengths in the stretch and won by 5 1/2 lengths. Macias finished last of eight.

“He’s shown that he doesn’t have to go as fast as he did the other day,” Sadler said. “We were inside of [Macias] and he pressed us as hard as he could. He’s not a run-off at all.”

Owned by Jenny Craig, Sidney’s Candy is part of a field of seven in the Oak Tree Mile, which offers an automatic berth to the BC Mile through the Win and You’re In program.

To make the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Sadler wants to see “a very smart effort” from Sidney’s Candy. The BC Mile is expected to include the two-time defending champion Goldikova. “It’s a very tough race,” Sadler said.

In the Oak Tree Mile, Sidney’s Candy could face early pressure from Tropic Storm, who won the Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 4. Tropic Storm could be scratched in favor of the Morvich Handicap on Monday, however.

The field also includes the closer Victor’s Cry, who won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile here in May but has lost his last two starts, including a ninth in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile in Canada on Sept. 19.

Meteore and Blue Chagall, who were second and fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mile on turf on Aug. 28, are threats as stalkers.