01/19/2011 5:45PM

Always a Princess eyes La Canada

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Benoit & Associates
Always a Princess, winner of the El Encino Stakes on Sunday, will be pointed to the $150,000 La Canada Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Bob Baffert, who leads all trainers with 17 wins, has picked early February stakes for two of his stakes horses who won or placed last weekend.

Always a Princess, who won Sunday’s Grade 2 El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies, is being pointed to the $150,000 La Canada Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 13.

Tweebster, who finished second to stablemate Indian Firewater in Saturday’s San Fernando Stakes over 1 1/16 miles, will start in the $200,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 5. Indian Firewater finished a nose in front of Tweebster but may not start in the Strub, Baffert said.

“A mile and an eighth may be pushing it a little bit,” Baffert said.

Baffert has two runners in Saturday’s $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap – Euroears and Ventana. Euroears, previously trained by Bret Calhoun, has won four stakes at Fair Grounds and is seeking his first graded stakes win in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes over six furlongs.

Ventana won the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Handicap here last April but has not started since finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes in May. Baffert said that Ventana emerged from that race with stiffness.

The Palos Verdes field is led by Smiling Tiger, winner of two Grade 1 stakes last year and the runner-up, by a nose, in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes here Dec. 26.

Baffert trains A Z Warrior, who could make her 2011 debut in the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes over a mile for 3-year-old fillies on Feb. 5.

On Tuesday, Baffert worked Jaycito, winner of the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes last October. Jaycito worked a half-mile in 49.40 seconds but had trouble with the turn, Baffert said.

Jaycito has run erratically in the past. In the BC Juvenile, the colt swerved wide on the backstretch and eventually finished seventh. Owner Ahmed Zayat transferred Jaycito from Mike Mitchell to Baffert after the BC Juvenile.

Baffert plans to start Jaycito in the $250,000 Robert Lewis Stakes for 3-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 12, a race also on the schedule of J P’s Gusto, winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in September.