03/22/2010 11:00PM

Cerin hopes owner's hunch is correct


ARCADIA, Calif. - Owner David Wilson and trainer Vladimir Cerin are hoping to reap quick rewards on Wednesday with Devil on the Roof, whom they snapped up for $25,000 out of a winning maiden claiming race on Feb. 25, and are bringing him back in a $24,000 starter-allowance that serves as the featured seventh race on a sleepy Wednesday card at Santa Anita.

"The owner picked him," Cerin said. "If I didn't like the horse, I'd pass. But he's lucky in life. He's not a bad guy to follow."

Wilson owns several car dealerships in Southern California. Along with his wife, Holly, he has owned several stakes winners, most notably the Cerin-trained Early Pioneer, who won the Hollywood Gold Cup 10 years ago.

Devil on the Roof had faced maidens eight times before being dropped into a maiden claimer. He rallied to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths. This one-mile race obviously has a stronger field, and Devil on the Roof is switching surfaces from Pro-Ride to turf, but he retains jockey Mike Smith, who has been aboard Devil on the Roof in his prior three starts.

Devil on the Roof ran once previously on turf, finishing eighth in a field of 10.

There are nine entered, including one also-eligible. The horse to beat could be Belongs to Gotham, who might have won his last start March 5, against a similar field, except for a bizarre incident in which jockey Joel Rosario tumbled from the saddle in the closing yards while battling for the lead in a downhill turf sprint.

Rosario is back aboard, trying to make amends.

Bolinas comes off an excellent effort Feb. 11 at these exact same conditions, a one-mile grass race. He opened a big lead down the backstretch, then just did get caught in the final strides. That was only his second start, following a debut win sprinting on Pro-Ride against maiden claimers on Jan. 24.

"He's run well both times," said his trainer, John Sadler.

Ringolevio gets the meet's leading jockey, Rafael Bejarano, while making his first start since being acquired by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Ringolevio was third in a restricted claiming race on Pro-Ride in his last start.

Guerrero Negro comes off a fourth-place finish in a similar starter-allowance on March 4. His trainer, Paco Gonzalez, is having another solid meeting following a rejuvenated season in 2009.