10/13/2003 11:00PM

'Anziyan' may yet turf


ARCADIA, Calif. - Anziyan Royalty, beaten by 20 lengths the only time he raced on grass, gets a second chance at the surface Thursday at Santa Anita. The lightly raced 3-year-old meets a modest field of California-breds in the one-other-than allowance that goes as the seventh race on the card.

If Anziyan Royalty runs as well as he did in his last two starts, he can win the mile turf race. Ten runners entered, and the question facing Anziyan Royalty is whether his debut was an indication of his dislike for turf, or whether the sixth-place finish can be chalked up to inexperience. Two subsequent starts suggest Anziyan Royalty deserves another chance on grass.

A decisive win in a $40,000 maiden-claimer Aug. 25 at Del Mar was the first start in eight months for Anziyan Royalty, who followed with an improved performance at Fairplex Park. The even-money favorite in a six-horse maiden-40 starter, Anziyan Royalty powered home by more than five lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 92. That race was one month ago, and the colt has two sharp recent workouts for trainer Craig Dollase.

Owned and bred by Nick Cafarchia, Anziyan Royalty is sired by Anziyan, who is by Danzig. Based on Anziyan Royalty's pedigree, there is every reason to believe he will handle the transition to turf and that his debut was an aberration. If he misfires, the $49,000 race is wide open.

Roberto's Show has been stuck at the first California-bred condition for more than a year. A 1-for-16 gelding trained by Cliff Sise, Roberto's Show has finished second or third in six of his last seven starts under similar conditions. Victor Espinoza rides Roberto's Show, a late-runner whose rally typically falls short.

Sharpster is a contender despite the outside post. But with the rails up at 30 feet, there is a chance he may not run. The field will be restricted to nine starters, and Sharpster drew post 10. Trained by Julio Canani, Sharpster finished second under similar conditions Aug. 20 at Del Mar, then was wheeled back too soon (two weeks) and finished a dull fifth as the 8-5 favorite. Freshened since then, Sharpster is a good fit off his Aug. 20 race. Corey Nakatani rides the 4-year-old.

The speed of the field may be Political Rhetoric. He ran poorly on the main track last time out and is reunited with jockey Pat Valenzuela. The gelding is likely to show more speed though his ability on grass remains open to debate.