Southern Image, winner of the grade I Malibu Stakes on opening day of the Santa Anita meet, is likely to make his next start in the $1 million Barretts/CTBA Classic on the Jan. 26 Sunshine Millions day card at the Southern California track, Mike Machowsky said."If he's doing 100%, I'll run him in the Sunshine Millions Classic," the 38-year-old trainer said. "If not I'll wait for the Strub. He's going to tell me. He worked Monday (Jan. 5, four furlongs in :47.20) and I'll either breeze him Sunday or Monday again, probably three-quarters."Both the Sunshine Millions Classic and the grade II Strub, final leg of the Strub Series, are at 1 1/8 miles. The Strub, however, will be decided two weeks later, on Feb. 7, and offers $300,000 in purse money.Southern Image, a Florida-bred son of Halo's Image purchased for $300,000, won the Malibu by a head at odds of 13-1 after a four-month layoff. The 4-year-old Southern Image earned $150,000 for his Malibu victory, giving him three wins and a third from four career starts, with earnings of $231,600 for owners Don Blahut, Tom and Jerry Kagele and Renee and Allen Tepper. It was the first grade I win for Machowsky.In other Sunshine Millions developments:
--Trainer Rafael Beccera said Special Matter, sharp winner of Thursday's second race at 1 1/8 miles on turf, would be pointed to the $500,000 Franks Farm Turf at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park. "I know it's only 16 days (coming back) but I think he can handle it," Beccera said. "His best distance is from a mile and an eighth to a mile and a half." Beccera said Tyler Baze has the mount. Special Matter, a 6-year-old Florida-bred River Special gelding, was claimed for $12,500 nearly two years ago and has since earned some $340,000, including a victory in the grade III Carleton F. Burke Handicap in October 2002.--Captain Squire, winner of the inaugural Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream last year, will not defend his title at Santa Anita, trainer Jeff Mullins said Friday. "I don't know where he'll run next," Mullins said, "but I don't want him facing the likes of Shake You Down." Captain Squire worked four furlongs on Santa Anita's fast main track Friday in a bullet :45.40 under exercise rider Amy Mullins, Jeff's wife.--Ian Jory will wait until the pre-entry date of Jan. 14 to decide whether Continental Red will enter the Turf or the Classic. "There's always a possibility of rain in Florida this time of year and he doesn't like soft going," the trainer said of Continental Red, who worked four furlongs Friday at Hollywood Park in :49 flat. "You can't double-enter so we're going to wait until the last minute, get a weather forecast for Florida, and make our decision."--Ringaskiddy worked seven furlongs in 1:25.40 for trainer Juan Garcia in preparation for the Turf. "I'm trying to get him ready for that race and hope we'll have enough earnings to get in," Garcia said.
--Classic candidate Peace Rules worked six furlongs at Hollywood in a bullet 1:12.80 for Bobby Frankel.