Updated on 09/16/2011 6:41AM

Blinkers don't cure I Love Silver's woes


ARCADIA, Calif. - One week after he was scratched from the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes because of a brief illness, I Love Silver worked Saturday morning at Santa Anita, and he left his trainer, Dean Greenman, scratching his head.

I Love Silver, who was third in the Malibu Stakes on opening day Dec. 26, is being prepared for the Grade 2, $400,000 Strub Stakes on Feb. 2. He has had a habit of lugging in, a problem Greenman believes is mental, not physical. So in an attempt to get I Love Silver to run straight, he put both blinkers, and a more severe bit, on the horse.

With regular rider Eddie Delahoussaye aboard, I Love Silver breezed five furlongs in 59.20 seconds. The time equaled the second best of 58 works at the distance. But as I Love Silver came through the lane, he again was trying to lug in. "Well, the blinkers didn't help," Greenman said, ruefully, after the drill.

Greenman plans to bring I Love Silver back next Saturday for another work in preparation for the Strub. But whether Delahoussaye works him again is the question next time, Greenman said. He is not blaming the rider for anything, but he is desperate to find out what's causing his horse to lean to the left in the stretch at Santa Anita.

I Love Silver last week had a slight temperature, an elevated white blood-cell count, and left some of his feed, causing Greenman to scratch the 4-year-old gelding from the San Fernando the morning of the race. "He's lost a little weight, but we've got two weeks to put it back on," Greenman said. "I'd rather he's a little light than a little heavy, because if he was carrying too much weight, I'd have to work him harder."

The Strub will feature the San Fernando winner, Western Pride, and the Malibu winner, Mizzen Mast, who passed the San Fernando. Mizzen Mast worked a sharp six furlongs on Saturday morning at Hollywood Park, covering the distance in 1:12.60, the best time of 15.

Printemps 'marking time'

Ron McAnally has plenty of action with his stable of older fillies and mares, with the likes of Affluent, who was scheduled to run in Sunday's El Encino Stakes for 4-year-old fillies, and turf runners Old Money, Kalatiara, and Tout Charmant, and he has another just waiting to be turned loose.

Trouble is, there is not a single main track, two-turn graded stakes race for older fillies and mares until Feb. 17, nearly two months into this meet. So, McAnally has had to keep Printemps on ice, even though she is raring to go.

Printemps continued her series of good works Saturday morning, when she traveled six furlongs in 1:14.60 with jockey Chris McCarron.

"I'm just marking time with her," McAnally said. "There's no filly and mare races on dirt for another month. She's doing well. Somebody hooked in with her today at the half-mile pole, and they still couldn't get by her."

Early Flyer examined for ulcers

A nuclear scan, followed by X-rays, showed nothing amiss with Early Flyer, who has made two disappointing runs this meet for McAnally. A blood test also came back fine. So, McAnally on Saturday afternoon was going to have Early Flyer examined for signs of possible ulcers, in hopes of finding out why the DeFrancis Memorial runner-up has performed so poorly in recent weeks.

"He's a candidate for ulcers. When he's on the track, he's perfect, but in his stall, he raises hell," McAnally said. "I'll give him a big carrot, and he'll eat it in one bite. It's not that he's hungry. It's just nervous energy."

* There is no racing at Santa Anita on Tuesday or Wednesday. Racing resumes Thursday for a four-day week.

* Jockey Corey Nakatani, who had been restricted to riding in stakes races because of a suspension that resulted from an infraction last month in Hong Kong, rides Above Perfection in the Orinda Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Monday, then returns to a regular schedule at Santa Anita on Thursday.

* Futural, who was disqualified from victory in last year's Hollywood Gold Cup, continued his preparation for a comeback with a four-furlong breeze in 48.80 seconds Saturday morning at Hollywood Park.

* Also at Hollywood, sprint star Caller One worked a half-mile in 49.40, Hollywood Starlet runner-up You worked six furlongs in 1:13.80, and the comebacking older stakes horse Sky Jack worked six furlongs in 1:14.40.