01/21/2010 12:00AM

Canonize back from long break


ARCADIA, Calif. - The 4-year-old debut of Canonize, the winner of two sprints on this circuit last spring, is scheduled for Friday's seventh race at Santa Anita.

The prospects for racing on Friday, however, were unclear as of Wednesday. The track lost Monday's program because the synthetic main track failed to drain sufficiently after approximately 1 1/2 inches of rain. Thursday's card was canceled on Wednesday as rain continued to fall, with a significant storm expected to continue into Thursday.

Track maintenance crews were working on Wednesday morning to aerate the Pro-Ride synthetic surface, in an effort to improve drainage that has plagued the surface since a synthetic track was first installed in August 2007.

For Friday, Santa Anita has scheduled an eight-race program, with two turf races, including a $40,000 optional claimer over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Canonize is part of a six-horse field in the seventh race, a second-level optional $62,500 claimer over six furlongs. Trained by Ron Ellis for Jay Em Ess Stable, Canonize won his first two starts last year here and at Hollywood Park, beating maidens by three lengths and then taking an optional claimer by 2 1/4 lengths.

Canonize was third in his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Laz Barrera Memorial for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs as the 4-5 favorite last May, failing to offer a threat in the stretch.

Following that race, Canonize underwent a precautionary nuclear scan, but no injuries were detected, Ellis said. The gelding later suffered an illness that kept him out for the summer.

"He was off a couple a months after that," Ellis said. "He's ready to run. He's worked a lot. I don't think he ran his race in the Laz Barrera. It will be interesting to see if he can pick up where he left off."

Canonize has drawn the rail, but is not the sort of horse that zooms to the front. Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. will most likely use a stalking style.

The field includes Dance with Gable, the winner of two minor stakes at Sacramento and Santa Anita last year, and Charm N Chuck, the winner of an allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park last month.

Euroglide is a threat from off the pace. Sixth on turf in his last start, Euroglide was second in an optional claimer here in November, his last main track start.