Bluesthestandard, preparing for the $200,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 6 1/2 furlongs March 28, turned in a blazing :57 2/5 work Sunday at Santa Anita.Ted H. West termed Bluesthestandard's five-furlong workout "the fastest I've ever seen a horse work, faster than Freespool."Bluesthestandard is one of seven sprinters nominated to the Potrero Grande. The 7-year-old Georgia-bred gelding won the race last year but is coming off a disappointing seventh-place finish in the March 7 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) at seven furlongs. He'll be facing Unfurl the Flag, who recently matched the track's seven-furlong record of 1:20.
"A couple horses (not stablemates) broke off like 20 lengths in front of him," West said of Bluesthestandard's drill, which West timed in :56 4/5. "He caught them in less than three-eighths of a mile and then blew by them, but he did it under wraps like he always does. I think seeing those horses in front of him kind of lit a fire under him a little bit. He just blew it up this morning."With Mike Smith opting to ride Bluesthestandard, trainer David Bernstein has engaged Tyler Baze to ride Unfurl The Flag, who equaled Spectacular Bid's 24-year-old track record in an optional claiming race on Feb. 21."We like Tyler," Bernstein said. "He's riding extremely well and I think he'll fit the horse really well."Unfurl The Flag is scheduled to have a final blowout at four furlongs Tuesday morning.
Probable for the Potrero Grande: Bluesthestandard, Mike Smith; McCann's Mojave, Jose Valdivia Jr.; Unfurl The Flag, Tyler Baze; and Watchem Smokey, Victor Espinoza.