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Here's the Dirt on Indian Country

February 20, 2005|BOB MIESZERSKI

Both of the stakes races on today's program at Santa Anita are scheduled for about 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf, but both are almost certain to be run on the main track given all the rain that has fallen in the last couple of days.

A switch to dirt would be fine with Indian Country in the $75,000 Daytona Handicap, the first of the two stakes; the other is the $125,000 Sensational Star for older California-breds.

Indian Country, a 4-year-old Indian Charlie colt owned by breeders Hal and Patti Earnhardt and trained by Bob Baffert, is cutting back in distance today after finishing last in the San Fernando on Jan. 15 in his first start around two turns.

In his three previous starts at six and seven furlongs, Indian Country was perfect, winning by a combined 7 1/2 lengths. Casey Fusilier will ride.

In the Sensational Star, Excessivepleasure will be trying to end a seven-race losing streak for trainer Doug O'Neill. The 5-year-old In Excess gelding hasn't won since taking the Indiana Derby on Oct. 4, 2003 at Hoosier Park. Jon Court has the mount on Excessivepleasure, who was fourth behind Congrats, Total Impact and Sigfreto in the San Pasqual in his last start on Jan. 8.

Race of the day: Storm's Darling, who had a three-race winning streak ended in the Truly Bound Handicap on Jan. 22, will try for her seventh lifetime victory in today's $75,000 Chou Croute Handicap at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Eddie Martin Jr. will ride the 4-year-old Storm Boot filly for owner Arthur Vogel and trainer Bobby Barnett in the 1 1/16 -mile race.

One for the road: Impeachthepro is back in with New York-breds today after chasing a sharp Here's Zealous on Feb. 2 and can win today's $75,000 Hollie Hughes Handicap at Aqueduct from just off the pace. Rafael Bejarano will ride the 8-year-old gelding for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. in the six-furlong contest.

Exotically speaking: A pick four using the Johnny Ice entry in the sixth, Siphonizer, Jungle Prince, Roi Charmant and Rushin' To Altar in the seventh, Bilo, Grand Appointment and Red Warrior in the eighth and Soupy, Lucky Leo and Eager Conduction in the ninth.

Winners: Previous day/meet total: 5/109. Money: Previous day/meet total: $23.80/$580.80. Total money bet: $700.

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