December 30, 2009

Juveniles of High Intrigue

No Virginia, racing is far more than the feature race on Saturday. The early races at Santa Anita on Wednesday are the ones peaking my interest. Two-year-olds of limitless potential hit the racetrack today in races number two and three. You never know when a champion will appear, but these races offer more chance than most. Horses like these, replace the staleness of Winter with a refreshing, optimistic air.

Today’s second contest marks the return of Sidney’s Candy. For those who may not know of this juvenile colt, I feel he was the most impressive youngster at Del Mar this Summer, with all due respect to Lookin at Lucky. After a very promising second place finish in his debut, he returned August 22 at the shore-side oval. In that race, Sidney's Candy was super impressive as he romped by four lengths. He moved to the top of my juvenile list off the win in which he earned an almost unheard of 99 Beyer in the maiden race. He would miss out on all the following juvenile stakes races though, due to sore shins. Owned by the Craig family trust, trained by John Sadler, and ridden by Joe Talamo, Sidney’s Candy looks primed for his return at Santa Anita. Away from the races for over four months, the son of the undefeated star Candy Ride has been firing bullets in the Southern Californian mornings. At his best, I do not see anyone in the field that will beat him, but make no mistake, this is a strong six furlong allowance field. Bob Baffert will try to sour the candy with two horses coming off losses in stakes races. The speedy Tiny Woods and the improving Indian Firewater both have the talent to force Sidney’s Candy to run a big one to get the win. I fully expect him to run a big one.

In the third race, we see the much anticipated debut of Take Control. A $7.7 million dollar buyback as a yearling, much is expected from the chestnut colt. The son of the regal mating of champions A.P. Indy and Azeri, Take Control is the first foal from his marvelous mom, and has the looks to go along with the pedigree. After not reaching his unbelievable minimum asking price as a yearling, he was sold as a two-year-old in training for $1.9 million at Keeneland’s select sale in April to his current owner Kaleem Shah. He is trained by Bob Baffert, who has been red hot with his band of juveniles of late, and word out of California is that this one is a runner. Take Control has drawn the rail in the one mile affair for maidens and is listed as the 4-1 third choice behind a couple of colts who have already run effectively without winning. There have not been many better racemares than Azeri, so his debut will be watched by many fans with great interest.

Watch the early races from Santa Anita this Wednesday afternoon and maybe, just maybe, you will be watching the colt who wins the 2010 Kentucky Derby.

8 comments:

Ciarán said...

be nice if take control put in a good performance.. do defeats in debuts get tolerated in america? they're expected over here... except for Ballydoyle horses!!

Brian Zipse said...

Somewhat, but probably a little more pressure over here...Baffert is known to have them ready to run.

Ciarán said...

you'd never get an Aidan O Brien colt at 4/1 first time out, be lucky if they're not odds on. not even exaggerating!

Brian Zipse said...

My guess is that Take Control will be lower than 4-1 today, we shall find out soon.

LDP said...

Hmmm they do sound enticing to watch. This year is presenting what seems to be a good looking future for next year's 3yr old class. I can't wait!

Michael said...

Hey Brian, Thanks to you I was able to see Take Control's race. I was just reading the article when I realized it may have been close to post time. Despite running last and all over the stretch, he exploded for the final 16th and won by about 2. I see Tiny Woods won but I missed the race. Baffert is 2 for 2 and everyone knows how much more interesting the Derby is with Baffert in it!!

railrunner said...

Bob Baffert got his two wins. Looks like he’s headed for an unbelievable year on the Triple Crown trail, or at least of to an imposing start!

Brian Zipse said...

Glad you caught the race Michael. I was very impressed, he was very green, but it looks like he will love a distance. Azeri has a runner!

Meanwhile Sidney's Candy was very dull today, let's see what he does next time before giving up on him. The winner of that race, Tiny Woods will become a stakes winning sprinter.