12/18/2009 1:00AM

Caracortado ready for a stamina test


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Caracortado has succeeded at every level tried this fall, winning a cheap maiden claimer at Fairplex Park, and a starter allowance and an allowance race at the Hollywood Park fall meeting.

Next is a race that will define his career for the next several months - the $100,000 California Breeders' Champion Stakes on Saturday's opening-day program at Santa Anita. The California Breeders' Champion Stakes is run over 1 1/16 miles, making it the longest race of the 2-year-old California-bred gelding's career.

"I think if you're going to run him long, [against] Cal-breds is the time to do it," said Mike Machowsky, who bred, co-owns, and trains the colt.

Judging from the way Caracortado has handled his first three races, he could be a major factor in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes. He has won each race by more than a length, including an allowance race against statebreds over 6 1/2 furlongs on Dec. 6 by 1 1/2 lengths.

"He seems to relax, so I don't think [the distance] should hurt him," Machowsky said. "I worked him after he broke his maiden, and he went three-quarters in 1:12.60. He keeps improving."

Caracortado is by Cat Dreams out of the unraced Maria's Mon mare Mons Venus. Caracortado, who has earned $49,200, is Mons Venus's first foal to race. Mons Venus was trained by Machowsky, who said she was plagued by ankle problems.

"We were never able to get her to the races," he said. "She never had a major injury. We just never got over the hump."

Mons Venus is a half-sister to Jaded Pleasure, who won 4 of 15 starts and $111,825. She won two stakes in Northern California.

Cat Dreams, 8, by Storm Cat, stood at Pepper Oaks Farms and later at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in California. He is now standing at Still Creek Farms in Brookville, Ind.

"There haven't been a lot of Cat Dreams to run two turns," Machowsky said. "He's probably one of the better ones. He seems to relax, so I don't think that should hurt him. The bottom side should help. He's out of a Maria's Mon mare."

Machowsky co-owns Caracortado with Don Blahut, a longtime client who co-owned Machowsky's most successful runner, Southern Image, who won the 2004 Santa Anita Handicap.

In past years, Machowsky and Blahut would have pointed a crack statebred sprinter such as Caracortado to the Sunshine Millions Dash for California-breds and Florida-breds in late January, but that race will not be offered in 2010. The Sunshine Millions Dash for 3-year-olds and Oaks for 3-year-old fillies were discontinued as part of a cutback in the Sunshine Millions program for 2010.

"If that was still there, I'd run him short again and then run for that," Machowsky said.

Instead, Machowsky and Blahut may learn next weekend how best to campaign Caracortado in 2010.

Barretts offers 518 in January sale

Barretts will feature 518 horses of all ages in its January mixed sale on Jan. 25-26, the company announced earlier this week.

Among the horses being offered are 179 broodmares, 134 yearlings, and 123 2-year-olds. Each session of the sale will begin at 11 a.m.

The sale featured 40 horses from the Craig Family Trust, consigned by Grant Hofmans, agent. The consignment is part of a reduction of the family's Thoroughbred holdings, although Jenny Craig continues to be an active owner.