05/23/2009 11:00PM

Canonize eyes third win in row


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Canonize, the undefeated colt trained by Ron Ellis, will finally face a test in Sunday's $100,000 Laz Barrera Stakes at Hollywood Park.

At least that's what Ellis expects. Then again, if the colt runs back to his maiden win at Santa Anita on April 4, or his allowance race win here on May 3, he could run his unbeaten streak to three with little fuss.


Canonize has won his two races by a combined 5 1/4 lengths, pulling clear late. If it were only that easy, Ellis said.

"I always equate it to a baseball player going through the minors in A, Double A, and Triple A, and then the major leagues," Ellis said. "There is only so far that you can step up without a bump in the road.

"I liked both of his races the same. He broke really good, and I thought he was professional both times for a lightly raced horse."

Owned by Jay Em Ess Stable, Canonize will start from post 2 in the Grade 3 Barrera, a race for 3-year-olds run over seven furlongs. The post should fit Canonize, a stalker who in his brief career has proven to be a patient ride for jockey Jose Valdivia Jr.

"He's a talented horse," Ellis said. "Jose can do anything he wants with him."

The race drew 10, but is unlikely to have that many starters. Triumphant Flight and Zenzational are candidates for the Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park on June 6, their respective trainers said on Friday.

Even if they do not start, there are plenty of contenders to challenge Canonize. Backbackbackgone is seeking his first graded stakes, having won four minor stakes. Trained by Peter Miller, the speedy Backbackbackgone won the Harry Henson Stakes over six furlongs on turf here on April 22.

Carbonite is unbeaten in two starts at Golden Gate Fields this spring and will be making his stakes debut. All Saint won the California Breeders' Champion Stakes at Santa Anita in December.

Charlie's Moment is the veteran of the group, with 3 wins in 11 starts. He was second to Triumphant Flight in the San Miguel Stakes, his last start in a sprint. Trainer Walther Solis said Charlie's Moment will be close to the speedy Backbackbackgone early.

"I hope they don't let the speed go by himself," he said. "If I had to go to the front, I can."