04/24/2006 11:00PM

Bluesthestandard in claimer


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Few $10,000 claimers are under as much scrutiny as Bluesthestandard will be in race 2 Thursday at Hollywood Park.

But few claimers win graded stakes, run second in the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint, and end up back at the bottom. In a nutshell, that is the history of Bluesthestandard, a 9-year-old millionaire who races Thursday for a $10,000 tag.

Recent events suggest Bluesthestandard is a shaky wagering proposition, though new trainer Bob Hess Jr. said, "He's doing great, and if anything happens I won't run him."

A winner of 19 of 47 starts, is entered to run 1 1/16 miles. It will be his first start under jockey Osman Cedeno and first for Hess, who is Bluesthestandard's eighth trainer. While Bluesthestandard's recent race record is good, other factors are vague.

Owner Steven Sobel and trainer Mark Glatt reclaimed Bluesthestandard from trainer Bill Spawr for $12,500 on March 30. Sobel and Glatt went 4 for 10 with him in 2002. Bluesthestandard won the race from which he was claimed. He also ran down through his front bandages, which is unusual for him

After the claim, Glatt and Sobel had a disagreement, and Sobel asked Spawr to train Bluesthestandard. "I didn't think it was good business," Spawr said. "I ran him for $12,500, which was a big drop, and I didn't think it was right to take him back [for a new owner]."

Sobel asked Hess to train. Hess agreed, realizing Bluesthestandard is under the microscope. "It's great so many people care about this horse," Hess said. "I am proud of the industry for being concerned."

Hess worked Bluesthestandard on April 21 in 1:02.60 breezing.

"It was a glorified gallop," said Hess. "He's ready to run. I am cool with the horse."

Bluesthestandard needed a new jockey Tuesday. It was not an easy find. Apprentice Juan Ochoa rode Bluesthestandard his last two starts, winning for an $18,000 tag and last out for $12,500. But when Hess called Ochoa's agent, Susan MacBrayer, on Tuesday to ask if Ochoa would ride Bluesthestandard again, Ochoa already had a call. MacBrayer also represents Cedeno, which is how he picked up the ride.