05/05/2010 11:00PM

Anaan gets second shot on synthetic


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - So far, so good for trainer Dan Peitz's initial foray into Chicago racing. Peitz, summering here this year rather than in New York, sent out three starters during Arlington's three-day opening week, and two won. Runner number four, Anaan, goes in Saturday's featured ninth race, a second-level Polytrack allowance carded at six furlongs.

Arlington entries came on strong Saturday, with 105 horses (including also-eligibles) entered in 11 races. Quality picks up as the program goes on.

Anaan, a 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro colt, looks ready for business. He started eight times during a solid 2009 campaign that began in Arkansas, ended in New York, and included a trip to Presque Isle Downs, where Anaan got his only taste of synthetic-surface racing. At Presque Isle, Anaan was second in a Pennsylvania-bred sprint stakes, running decently while turning back from route races. Anaan broke from the rail that day, which didn't help, since he has gotten off poorly in both his starts from post 1. Saturday, Anaan has post 5, an apparently useful comeback race in which he was third April 2 at Oaklawn, and a flashy local workout. Breezing April 30 at Arlington, Anaan worked five furlongs in 58.60 seconds, among the fastest drills this Arlington season.

Anaan probably won't be favored Saturday, with Mambo Galliano likely to take heavier betting support, and with good reason. Mambo Galliano came on strong in the winter at Fair Grounds and won a race at this allowance class in January, only to be disqualified for stretch-bumping. March 1, Mambo Galliano finished second by a nose in a fast race, and he was scratched out of a highly winnable spot last month at Hawthorne. The question for handicappers is whether his recent improvement coincided with a move to dirt, or if it came about strictly because of dirt. In two Arlington synthetic-track starts last summer, Mambo Galliano showed much less than he did in New Orleans.

Mambo Galliano is coupled with Seven Mile Bridge - both are trained and owned by Louie Roussel - and trainer Hugh Robertson has two separate betting interests in the race. Carson's Honor has been out since August, and his best races of 2009 came in Canterbury Park turf routes, but the Robertson-trained Bergman has a chance. So does Sangre Frio, a Tom Amoss-trained horse who ran into the talented sprinter Silver City at Keeneland in his lone prior synthetic-track start.