05/17/2006 11:00PM

Arson Squad brings big late kick to Barrera


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - This has been a year of flashy rallies in important races by trainer Bruce Headley's horses.

Surf Cat has used his remarkable late kick to win three graded stakes and attract attention in the national handicap division.

used the same style when he won his stakes debut in the San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita on April 9. Saturday, he starts for the first time in a graded stakes in the $150,000 Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Park.

First post time for Saturday's program is 12:20 p.m. Pacific.

Owned by Mace and Samantha Siegel, Arson Squad is typical of a Headley-trained 3-year-old in that he did not start at 2, and has run well in all three of his career starts.

After finishing third in his debut at Santa Anita on Jan. 14, Arson Squad won a maiden race at six furlongs by 4 1/2 lengths on Feb. 11 and the San Pedro Stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs by 1 3/4 lengths.

In the San Pedro, Arson Squad was last of five on the backstretch, trailing by 12 lengths. He responded to jockey Alex Solis's urging on the turn and zoomed to the front, easily going past favored Da Stoops.

"It was sensational," Headley said. "He made a pretty fast move."

The form of that race has held up. Da Stoops returned to win the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes for statebreds on April 30.

The Grade 2 Barrera at seven furlongs is the longest race of Arson Squad's career, which is not a concern for Headley. He is hopeful that the gelding will excel at longer distances, with the Swaps Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on July 8 as a long-term goal. Surf Cat won the 2005 Swaps.

"He's not a heavy horse," Headley said of Arson Squad. "He can go the distance. Hopefully, we can go in the Swaps if he comes out of this well."

The entries for the Barrera include Corazondelcampeon and Northern Soldier.

won the Harry Henson Stakes for turf sprinters here on April 28. He won the Palo Verde Handicap on the main track at Turf Paradise in March.

is making his stakes debut after winning two overnight races in quick times at Golden Gate Fields.

Two turf winners bound for Cinema

The Five J's and Zann, the winners of optional claimers for 3-year-olds on turf on Wednesday, are expected to return in the $150,000 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap on June 25, their respective trainers said.

Zann won the first of two divisions at 1 1/16 miles on turf, closing from fifth to finish two lengths in front of favored Lightning Hit. Zann was timed in 1:40.20 on a turf course that has produced rapid times throughout the meeting.

Owned by William and Suzanne Warren, who raced 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam, Zann is 2 for 3 on turf.

"I thought he was very impressive," trainer Mike Machowsky said. "I thought he'd be a good horse. He looks like he wants to run all day."

The Cinema is run at 1 1/8 miles on turf, and is the last stakes on turf for 3-year-old males at this meeting. "The timing is perfect," Machowsky said.

The Five J's led throughout the second division, winning by 2 1/2 lengths over Full In and finishing in 1:41.83. Trained by Steve Knapp for Michael Miller, The Five J's ended a nine-race losing streak.

"We were hoping he would like the grass," Knapp said. "He finally finished a race, that was the difference."