08/12/2010 2:01PM

Sidney's Candy tries turf in La Jolla

Barbara D. Livingston
Sidney's Candy will make his turf debut in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Sidney’s Candy had a successful introduction to grass racing last Sunday, zipping six furlongs in 1:11.80 in a workout.

That was all trainer John Sadler needed to see. After that, Saturday’s $150,000 La Jolla Handicap for 3-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles on turf became the goal and an opportunity for the colt’s fourth stakes win.

“I’d be disappointed if he doesn’t win, because of the way he worked on grass the other day,” Sadler said. “He handled the turf beautifully. It looked like he’d been on it 10 times.”

Sadler was even more impressed, considering that Sidney’s Candy worked around temporary cones set about 30 feet from the inside rail.

“He had horses in front of him, so he had a little target,” Sadler said. “The time was sensational.”

The Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap is an important race for Sidney’s Candy. Owned by Jenny Craig, Sidney’s Candy has lost his last two starts, the longest losing streak in his eight-race career.

After winning the Santa Anita Derby in April, Sidney’s Candy started in the Kentucky Derby as one of the best California-based hopes. He was near the lead for the first mile, but faded to finish 17th. In his comeback in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes, he led to the final furlong and finished a head behind Skipshot as the 1-5 favorite.

In the La Jolla, Sadler said that Sidney’s Candy is likely to stalk expected pacesetter Macias, who was second in the Oceanside Stakes here on July 21.

“I see him laying second,” Sadler said.

Sidney’s Candy will be ridden for the first time by leading rider Joel Rosario, a replacement for Joe Talamo, who injured his wrist in a spill on Aug. 5.

A decent pace will aid Golden Itiz and Leroy’s Dynameaux, stakes winners at Hollywood Park in June. Golden Itiz won the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap, but missed the Swaps because of illness. The La Jolla is his first start since the Affirmed and first on turf.

Leroy’s Dynameaux won the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes on turf June 20. The La Jolla has been trainer Mark Glatt’s goal for the last two months.

“My horse is a turf specialist,” Glatt said. “Sidney’s Candy is a good horse. We have to hope he duels too hard on the lead or isn’t as good on turf.”