Squirtle Squirt, Spain Return This Weekend

Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Squirtle Squirt drilled six furlongs in 1:13 at Hollywood Park for Bobby Frankel on Sunday as he prepares for his return in Sunday's Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II).

Others working toward the six-furlong race for older horses on Sunday were California-bred Ceeband, who drilled five furlongs in a bullet :58.40, and defending champion Men's Exclusive, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.as he attempts to become the fifth 9-year-old stakes winner in Santa Anita history.

Probable starters for the grade II Palos Verdes, with riders, are: Ceeband, Matt Garcia; Explicit, Kent Desormeaux; Men's Exclusive, Laffit Pincay Jr.; Silky Sweep, Gary Stevens; Snow Ridge, Mike Smith, and Squirtle Squirt, no rider.

Also this weekend, 2000 champion 3-year-old filly Spain will make her first start of the year for D. Wayne Lukas in Saturday's $200,000 Santa Monica Handicap for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs. In her last start, Spain's attempt to defend her Breeders' Cup Distaff crown came up short when she finished second to Unbridled Elaine.

Probable for the grade I Santa Monica Handicap, with riders: Favorite Funtime, Gary Stevens, Kalookan Queen, Alex Solis; Spain, Victor Espinoza, and Warren's Whistle, no rider.

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