Never Better Bluesthestandard Heads San Carlos

(from Santa Anita report)
Multiple stakes winner Bluesthestandard comes into Sunday's $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park riding high after a victory in the Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita and a second place finish in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).

After watching some blistering recent workouts, trainer Ted H. West says the 7-year-old gelding has never looked so good as he prepares for the San Carlos, a seven-furlong contest for 4-year-olds and up. A full field of 12 was entered Friday.

"He's just better right now," West said. "Every work is a half a second or a second faster than he ever used to work, with the same amount of ease. It's just an indication that he's getting better. This is the best he's ever come to a race for us."

The San Carlos has been a showcase for the senior set in recent years, and Bluesthestandard could add his name to a growing list of elderly winners that includes 7-year-old Kona Gold, 8-year-old Son of a Pistol and 9-year-old Softshoe Sure Shot.

Claimed for $50,000 by West for Jeffrey Sangara in late 2002, Bluesthestandard has a career record of 15-6-3 in 28 starts. He will have to break from a tough spot Sunday -- the inside post in a field of 12 -- and will carry the high weight of 119 pounds.

Challengers will include 4-year-old colts Eye of the Tiger and Publication, and a pair of group I-winning imports from South America, Pico Central and Question. Also in the field is Marino Marini, who was second to Bluesthestandard by a length in the Palos Verdes.

$150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II), 4 & up, 7 furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1.Bluesthestandard, Mike Smith, 119
2. Casas Caballo, Jose Valdivia Jr., 114
3. Amerindio, Emile Ramsammy 113
4. Captain Squire, Alex Solis, 116
5. Marino Marini, Tyler Baze, 115
6. Pico Central, David Flores, 114
7. Question, Omar Berrio, 114
8. Kela, Corey Nakatani, 113
9. Pohave, Jon Court, 112
10. Eye Of The Tiger, Gary Stevens, 115
11. Taste of Paradise, Mick Ruis, 113
12. Publication, Kent Desormeaux, 116

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