McAnally Drills Sweet Return, Fairly Ransom

Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally sent Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) winner Sweet Return and runner-up Fairly Ransom out for works over Santa Anita's firm turf course Wednesday morning in preparation for a rematch in the Jan. 17 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT).

The San Marcos is a 1 ¼-mile turf event for older horses worth $150,000.

Under Alex Solis, Fairly Ransom logged seven furlongs in 1:30 2/5 around the dogs. Sweet Return also went seven panels, posting a time 1:30 while in company with the graded winner Mountain Rage, who logged 1:29 4/5.

"They're both doing just great," McAnally said. "They're both so talented but also so different. Sweet Return is more serious while Fairly Ransom is more easy-going. He's a very happy horse; he's like a big kid all the time."

Since shipping to America from England at the end of last year, Sweet Return won the aforementioned Hollywood Derby, as well as a division of the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar in July. He was also second in the Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) and third in the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) and so far has banked $523,031 from a career line of 14-3-3-4.

He's a 4-year-old chestnut son of Elmamuul and the Claude Monet mare Sweet Revival, bred in Great Britain by C.S. Tateson.

Fairly Ransom, a gray Kentucky-bred son of Red Ransom and Fairly Grey (by Linamix), won the Del Mar Derby and was second in the other half of the Oceanside Stakes from four starts stateside. He began his career in France where he won two races and was third in the Prix Greffulhe (gr. IIIT). Now racing in the colors of Arnold Zetcher, Fairly Ransom has earned $388,529 from a career line of 9-4-2-1.

Other San Marcos probables working Wednesday included Oak Tree Derby winner Devious Boy, who went six furlongs in 1:15 3/5. The Kathy Walsh trainee was seventh in the Sir Beaufort Stakes on the main track on Dec. 26 in his last start.

Gary Tanaka's Researched, who finished fourth in the Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) in his stateside debut, is considered a San Marcos possible by trainer Ben Cecil. The 5-year-old gelded son of Danehill worked six furlongs in 1:16 1/5 with jockey Patrick Valenzuela aboard.

Cecil said the horse may miss the San Marcos in favor of a race with more ground, and may wait until 1 ½-mile San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) on Feb. 16.