01/05/2011 4:43PM

Canani holds key to Santa Anita allowance race

Benoit & Associates
Blue Chagall, here winning the Wickerr at Del Mar over the summer, will represent Julio Canani in a Friday allowance.

ARCADIA, Calif. – With that oversized furry hat he wears on cold mornings, like Wednesday, trainer Julio Canani is the center of attention. He’ll occupy the same spot in Friday’s seventh race at Santa Anita, whether he runs both Blue Chagall and Ryehill Dreamer, or holds out Ryehill Dreamer for his first start on dirt in the Grade 2, $150,000 San Pasqual Stakes on Saturday.

Friday’s seventh race, a $63,000 allowance race at one mile on turf, drew nine older horses. Canani’s decision will determine not only the composition of the field, but, more significantly, the pace. Ryehill Dreamer was throttled off the pace last time in the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park, and Canani said he has no intention of that happening this time, whether he runs Friday or Saturday.

“You can’t choke this horse,” Canani said Wednesday morning.

Joel Rosario, who rode Ryehill Dreamer to a front-running win at the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park, is named to ride Ryehill Dreamer on Friday.

Regardless of what Canani does with Ryehill Dreamer, Blue Chagall will go on Friday. He comes off a win in the minor Riot In Paris Stakes at Hollywood Park, his second win in his last four starts. Corey Nakatani rode him last time, David Flores was aboard for a victory in the Wickerr at Del Mar in July, but Garrett Gomez, who rode Blue Chagall to a win in the Lure here during the 2009 Oak Tree meeting, has the mount Friday.

“He won nice last time,” Canani said. “He can be a goofball. He likes to be inside. When Gomez rode him, he got his best Beyer ever. In his next race, he was wide and pulling. Gomez knows what to do. He knows that horse.”