The two most important Kentucky Derby candidates of 1963 finally got to the races last week, though they ran on tracks that were a continent apart. The West's Candy Spots, idle for six months, came rolling up on the outside at California's Santa Anita to win by a desperate fraction of an inch against good opposition. The East's Never Bend strolled to a 50-yard victory at Florida's Hialeah Park, hardly tested by a small, weak field. With nine weeks to go before their date in Louisville, they get down to really serious business this Saturday. Rex Ellsworth's Candy Spots is the favorite in the $100,000 Santa Anita Derby; Never Bend is the same in the $100,000 Flamingo.

Muscular never bend (above) gallops easily toward finish of his seven-furlong betless exhibition race, leaving three withered rivals a distant 14 lengths behind and boosting his lifetime record to eight wins in 11 starts.

Photogenic candy spots (1) nips Bonjour at the wire in a six-furlong race to raise his unbeaten record to four. Finish was so tight that officials called for three enlargements of picture to determine the winner.

TWO PHOTOS