07/08/2008 11:00PM

Carava runs one who's due

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A nearly year-long goal of winning a lucrative optional claimer with the 4-year-old gelding Lit'sgoodlookngray may finally be reached by trainer Jack Carava and La Canada Stables on Friday evening at Hollywood Park.

Carava has trained Lit'sgoodlookngray for six of his last eight starts. He claimed Lit'sgoodlookngray for $40,000 last October and lost him for $50,000 a month later. Two races later, in January, Carava claimed Lit'sgoodlookngray for $50,000 from Mike Puype. "I thought it was a good investment," he said.

Lit'sgoodlookngray has not run for a claiming price since Carava reclaimed him, and will not be available for a price in Friday's race, worth $51,000 at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Carava thinks Lit'sgoodlookngray is overdue to win an optional claimer for statebred sprinters. "I'm surprised that he hasn't won it yet," he said.

Lit'sgoodlookngray has been second, third, or fourth in five starts for Carava and La Canada this year. He earned $37,872 in that span despite going winless.

Carava was encouraged when Lit'sgoodlookngray finished second in a $51,800 allowance race for California-breds here on June 14. He stalked the pace throughout, but could not catch the even-money favorite, Dancing in Silks, who won by 2 3/4 lengths.

"He ran into a tough race," Carava said. "I figure his turn is coming pretty soon."

Carava is looking to Lit'sgoodlookngray to salvage an otherwise disappointing spring-summer meeting. Through Sunday, Carava had only four wins from 65 starters.

"Aside from not winning enough races, I didn't have the right stock," he said.

Lit'sgoodlookngray faces two horses offered for a claiming price - Dr. Seacliff and Echezeaux. The other six entrants in the race are the only horses on the entire eight-race program not entered to be claimed.

Swift Demand, who topped the 2005 California October yearling sale at $290,000, makes his second start of the year. Swift Demand, 4, ran fifth in the same race as Lit'sgoodlookngray on June 14, which was Swift Demand's first start in 13 months. Swift Demand has 1ovictory in 5 starts since early 2007.

Garrett Gomez, the 2007 Eclipse Award-winning jockey, rides Swift Demand. He moved back to California this month after riding mainly in Kentucky and New York since April.