Bluesthestandard, one of the more popular horses to run on the Southern California circuit in recent years, will make his first start in more than three months in today's $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap at Santa Anita. The Grade II at six furlongs is the main event in a program that begins at 11 a.m.
Owned by Jeffrey Sengara and trained by Ted H. West, Bluesthestandard, a 7-year-old, Georgia-bred gelding, hasn't been out since he finished second to Cajun Beat in the Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 25.
The son of American Standard has trained well for his return, has run well after vacations before and he loves Santa Anita. Half of his 14 victories have come in Arcadia.
If Bluesthestandard is going to win another and push his earnings over $900,000, he'll have to beat some talented sprinters. Captain Squire and Boston Common, who are trained by Jeff Mullins, have combined for 15 victories and nearly $1.3 million in purses, Marino Marini was beaten by a head by subsequent Sunshine Millions Classic winner Southern Image in the Malibu Stakes last month and Tough Game has won his last two for trainer Kristin Mulhall by a combined nine lengths.
Race of the day: Olmodavor, who was second to Mineshaft in the New Orleans Handicap the last time he visited Louisiana, is among nine older horses set to run in today's $100,000 Whirlaway Handicap at the Fair Grounds. A Grade III at 1 1/16 miles, the Whirlaway also lured Total Impact, Spanish Empire, El Ruller, Classic Par, M B Sea, G.W.'s Skippie, Almuhathir and Kodema.
One for the road: Old Gold should improve a bunch in his second start for always-hot trainer Todd Pletcher as he stretches to 1 1/8 miles in today's sixth at Aqueduct. Richard Migliore will ride the 3-year-old son of Touch Gold in the $42,000 maiden race.
Exotically speaking: A pick four using Master Perfect and Royal Robe in the fifth, Shake Off, John's Kinda Girl and Penny's Fortune in the sixth, Boston Common, Captain Squire, Tough Game and Bluesthestandard in the seventh and Runawayskye in the eighth.
Winners: Previous day/meet total: 5/89. Money: Previous day/meet total: $25/$499.80. Total money bet: $482.