INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- For the next 10 days, the focus of the final weekend of Hollywood Park and the opening day at Del Mar is on 3-year-olds - the established main-track stars and the up-and-coming hopefuls on turf.
Hollywood Park concludes its spring-summer meeting this Sunday, and the most lucrative race of the final weekend is Saturday's $200,000 Swaps Stakes for 3-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles on the synthetic main track.
Sidney's Candy, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby in April, will make his first start since a 17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby on May 1. Owned by Jenny Craig, Sidney's Candy has won 4 of 7 starts and $673,567.
"He's just put on weight and he looks strong," trainer John Sadler said. "It's a big grind to go for that [Kentucky Derby]."
The Grade 2 Swaps drew just eight nominees, including Golden Itiz, Skipshot, and Alphie's Bet, the first three finishers of the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap last month. Alphie's Bet won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in February.
Del Mar opens its seven-week summer meeting on July 21 and the opening-day feature is the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile on turf. The race is restricted to horses that have not won a $50,000 first-place purse this year. Some candidates, such as the highly promising Twirling Candy, have not run in a race that valuable. Other hopefuls such as Bogie or Macias, who were second and third in the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park on June 20, have not hadsuccess at that level.
Twirling Candy has made two starts for Craig and Sadler, winning a maiden race last November and an optional claimer over 6 1/2 furlongs by 7 3/4 lengths in his 3-year-old debut on May 29. He has not run beyond seven furlongs.
Macias, trained by Bob Baffert, won the Eddie Logan Stakes on turf at Santa Anita last December and the $55,000 Baffle Stakes on the hillside turf course there in February. He has lost his last four starts.
Bogie began his career in Ireland and has made three starts in this country for trainer Paddy Gallagher. At Santa Anita, he finished third in the La Puente Stakes in his United States debut and followed that with a victory in an optional claimer over 1?1/16 miles on turf at Hollywood.
Evening Jewel eyes San Clemente
Evening Jewel, the winner of the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland in April and the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap on turf at Hollywood Park in May, worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Evening Jewel is being prepared for the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap over a mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies at Del Mar on July 25. Earlier this year, she was beaten a nose by Blind Luck in the Kentucky Oaks.
Trainer Jim Cassidy skipped the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 3 in favor of the San Clemente, and said he was delighted with the style of Evening Jewel's workout on Saturday.
"She worked as good as I've seen her work," he said.
Eventually, Evening Jewel could start in the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks over 1 1/8 miles on turf on Aug. 21, where she is expected to face Harmonious, who won the American Oaks in her stakes debut.