INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 25, 2011)—Defeated at 2-5 in the Mervyn LeRoy Handicap May 7, Sidney’s Candy will try to make amends when he returns to the turf in the $150,000 American Handicap Saturday at Hollywood Park.
A Grade II, the American has been switched from its traditional slot on July 4 and shortened to a mile for its 72nd renewal. It is the first time the race has been run at a distance other than 1 1/8 miles since Noor won going 10 furlongs in 1950.
Owned by breeder Jenny Craig and trained by John Sadler, Sidney’s Candy finished 1 ¼ lengths behind Crown of Thorns in the LeRoy in his first start of 2011. A 4-year-old son of Candy Ride and the Storm Cat mare Fair Exchange, Sidney’s Candy has won six of 12. He will become a millionaire with a victory Saturday. His bankroll is $923,560.
If Sidney’s Candy, who has won once in two outings on turf – a decisive score in the La Jolla Handicap last Aug. 14 at Del Mar – is successful in the American, he would provide Sadler with his second victory in the race. Sadler won with outsider Whatsthescript in 2008.
Sidney’s Candy, whose most lucrative win came in the 2010 Santa Anita Derby, isn’t the only Grade I winner in the field. The Usual Q.T., who won the 2009 Hollywood Derby and the 2010 Eddie Read at Del Mar, will aim for his third win in five tries over the Hollywood Park turf.
Trained by Jim Cassidy for a partnership that includes Michael Nentwig and Don Van Kempen, The Usual Q.T. is 8-for-21 with a bankroll of $1,495.240. He is hoping to end a six race losing streak as he is winless since taking the Read last July 24.
Liberian Freighter will be seeking his second stakes win of the Spring/Summer meet and his third victory in a row for trainer Neil Drysdale, who has three American wins – Man From Eldorado (1992), Silver Wizard (1995) and Labeeb (1996).
A 6-year-old gelded son of Bertrando and the Slewpy mare Anachristina, the California bred won the Arcadia Handicap, a Grade II, April 9 at Santa Anita, then returned 15 days later to take the Inglewood Handicap, a Grade III, at Hollywood Park.
Bred by the late Ed Nahem’s King Edward Racing Stable and owned by the Estate of King Edward, Shawn Dugan (Drysdale’s wife) and Charles Winner, Liberian Freighter has won 10 of 27 and earned $733,740.
Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, who has won the American four times, will be represented by Goldwaki. Owned by breeders Wertheimer and Frere, the 4-year-old German bred will be making his first start in the United States.
Campaigned in France in 2009 and 2010, the son of Dalakhani and the Caerleon mare Gold Round has four wins in eight starts and has earned $176,715. Goldwaki has been idle since finishing fourth in the Prix Chaudenay, a Group II, last Oct. 2 at Longchamp.
The most recent of McAnally’s wins in this race was with Candy Ride in 2003.
Leroy’s Dynameaux, whose lone graded victory came in the 2010 Will Rogers over this turf course, has won twice in nine outings for breeder Ellenay Racing, Inc. and trainer Mark Glatt. The 4-year-old gelded son of Leroidesanimaux and the Dynaformer mare Dyna Peak has banked $132,310.
Smokey Lonesome, who has never competed in a graded race on grass, has won three of 11 for Bruce Chandler and Stewart Tsujimoto and trainer Art Sherman. A 5-year-old Teton Forest gelding out of the Alysheba mare Exclusive Symbol, Smokey Lonesome has earned $146,610.
Defeated as the favorite in an optional claimer May 8, Norvsky will make his second graded stakes appearance for a partnership including owner-breeders Bud and Judy Johnston and Robert Riggio and trainer Don Warren.
A 5-year-old Vronsky gelding out of the Flying Paster mare Fimbrelith, Norvsky has won three of 10 and earned $161,838. He was fourth in the Arcadia in his graded debut.
Ryehill Dreamer will try to give trainer Julio Canani his second American win Saturday. A 5-year-old gelded son of Catcher In The Rye out of the Rainbows for Life mare No Way, the Irish bred has won four of 11. Owned by Marsha Naify, he has earned $206,807. He finished second, beaten by a half-length, in the Inglewood. Canani won this event with Bayamo in 2004.
The American is the eighth of nine races Saturday. Post time is 1 p.m.
From inside out, the field for the 72nd American Handicap: Ryehill Dreamer, Edwin Maldonado-Alicea rides, 116 pounds; Liberian Freighter, Martin Garcia, 120; Smokey Lonesome, Joe Talamo, 115; The Usual Q.T., Victor Espinoza, 121; Norvsky, Chantal Sutherland, 114; Goldwaki, Brice Blanc, 117; Sidney’s Candy, Joel Rosario, 123 and Leroy’s Dynameaux, Rafael Bejarano, 114.
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