GR. I SANTA ANITA DERBY NEXT FOR SIDNEY’S CANDY SADLER TRAINEE WIRES GR. II SAN FELIPE WITH TALAMO UP

With Joe Talamo aloft, Sidney’s Candy rocketed to top-tier Derby status with his authoritative gate to wire victory in Saturday’s Gr. II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, his first start around two turns. Trained by John Sadler and owned by his breeder, the Craig Family Trust, the chestnut colt by Candy Ride is scheduled to make his next start in the Gr. I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 3.

Sidney’s Candy prevailed by one-half length in the San Felipe, after controlling the pace through fractions of 24.39, 48.55, 1:13.53 and 1:36.26. The final time was 1:42.30.

“The plan was to get to the lead, relax and kick when they came to him,” said Talamo following the race. “We knew last summer he was a quality horse and the way he did this today was so impressive. He has the demeanor of an older horse.”

Sidney’s Candy, who ran second in his debut on July 25 at Del Mar, was stretching out on Saturday following a 4 1/2 –length score in the Gr. II San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 15.

“He relaxed on the lead good,” said Sadler on Saturday. “When I saw those splits, I was pretty confident…We’ll see how he comes out of it. We always take it (next objective) on a race by race basis.”

“Sidney’s” record now stands at 3-1-0, from five starts and he has earnings of $223,560.

In addition to Sidney’s Candy, those listed as probable for the April 3 Santa Anita Derby are: Alphie’s Bet, Caracortado (beaten favorite in the San Felipe), Intercif, Setsuko and Who’s Up.