The popular Georgia-bred gelding Bluesthestandard once raced for a $10,000 claiming price. But the $50,000 claim by trainer Ted West won the Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap (g. II) at Santa Anita in March, followed by a four-length triumph in the Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park a month later.
Supplemented for $90,000 to the Breeders' Cup Sprint, the son of American Standard finished second to Cajun Beat, earning $200,000 for owner Jeffrey Sengara of Delta, British Columbia. In 27 starts, Bluesthestandard has 14 wins, six seconds and three third with earnings of $807,185. He has not won in six starts since winning the Texas Mile, however.
"He's coming up to the race perfect," said Ted West, father of trainer Ted H. West.
The Palos Verdes is a wide open race. Bluesthestandard is one of three horses assigned co-high weight of 117 pounds. The others are Captain Squire and Boston Common, both conditioned by the meet's leading trainer, Jeff Mullins.
Boston Common won the El Conejo Handicap (gr. III) at 5 ½ furlongs on Jan. 1, while Captain Squire is seeking his first win since capturing the inaugural Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita more than a year ago.
Another solid contender is Marino Marini, trained by Doug O'Neill. The Storm Cat colt was second in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at seven furlongs last Dec. 26, beaten only a head by Southern Image, who went on to win the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at 1 1/8 miles on Jan. 24. O'Neill won last year's Palos Verdes with the recently retired Argentine-bred Avanzado.
$150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II), 4 & up, 6 furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight
1. Summer Service, Corey Nakatani, 112
2. Captain Squire, Alex Solis, 117
3. Tough Game, Victor Espinoza, 115
4. Our New Recruit, Emile Ramsammy, 114
5. Boston Common, Gary Stevens, 117
6. Marino Marini, Tyler Baze, 115
7. Giovannetti, Danny Sorenson, 112
8. Bluesthestandard, Mike Smith, 117