Sidney's Candy Makes Pletcher Think Twice


Sidney's Candy, a graded winner on all three surfaces, fired a bullet work on the turf Sunday morning that caused his connections to re-think plans for his next race.

Under jockey Johnny Velazquez, the 4-year-old son of Candy Ride zipped five furlongs in :57.60 over the Oklahoma turf course, galloping out six furlongs in 1:09.40. His work was nearly two seconds faster than the second-best work.

Previously based in California, Sidney's Candy, who was purchased by WinStar Farm in June, will likely make his first start for his new owners and trainer Todd Pletcher at Saratoga. His connections had previously been considering the Whitney Handicap at nine furlongs on the dirt August 6, but now are leaning against that spot due to the distance.

Other options for Sidney's Candy include the Fourstardave at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf July 31 or the Forego at seven furlongs on the dirt Sept. 3.

“The nice thing about him is you have so many options,” WinStar president and racing manager Elliott Walden said. “We are leaning against the Whitney because of the 1-1/8 miles. I think he’s a true miler. The surface doesn’t matter as much as the distance. We’re still figuring him out. The Forego is something to be under consideration; the Whitney looks like it’s coming up tough. Horses seem to get caught in the last few jumps. He’s been first or second in something like 56 of his 64 points of call.”

It's Tricky to point for Alabama

It's Tricky exited her game victory in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on Saturday tired but in good order, and plans call for her to prepare for the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes on August 20.

“She ate up well, not everything, but ate up well,” trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. “She was tired, but she’s in good shape. It was a great win. I spoke to Simon Crisford from Godolphin this morning and he said point for the Alabama — good timing, as long as you’re happy and she’s happy. She’s a day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute filly when it comes to how she’s doing and what’s going on."

In the Alabama, It's Tricky is likely to face Queen's Plate winner Inglorious and Hollywood Oaks winner Zazu.

Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty, who was a gutsy second in the Coaching Club, was also in good shape Sunday morning. It hasn't been decided yet if the filly will remain in Saratoga to point for the Alabama or if she'll return home to California

Sword Dancer winner Awad dead

Awad, who set track records while winning the 1995 Arlington Million and 1997 Sword Dancer Invitational, was found dead in his paddock Saturday morning at Old Friends in Georgetown, Ky. The 21-year-old son of Caveat, who had been pensioned at the retirement facility since 2006, was felled by a suspected heart attack.

A hard-knocking turf campaigner, Awad put together a career record of 70-14-10-11. He earned $3,270,131 while winning or placing in 30 stakes events.

Awad finished second by a neck to Kiri's Clown — who eventually became his paddock neighbor at Old Friends — in the 1995 Sword Dancer at Saratoga. He went on to defeat a deep field that included Kiri's Clown, Northern Spur, Sandpit and Tinners Way in the Arlington Million, setting a course record of 1:58.69 for 10 furlongs.

Awad returned to Saratoga to win the 1997 Sword Dancer, establishing a 12-furlong course mark of 2:23.20 that still stands.

Jimmer posts first work

Jimmer, a 2-year-old Thoroughbred named for Glens Falls native and top-10 NBA draft pick Jimmer Fredette, turned in his first published work Sunday morning.

The son of Elusive Quality, out of the Dayjur mare Lucette, went three furlongs in :37.20, 18th fastest of 24 at the distance over the main track.

by Nicole Russo


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