08/24/2010 12:24PM

Danzing Tribal has one coming


DEL MAR, Calif. – The waiting, Tom Petty and trainer Craig Lewis will tell you, is the hardest part. Lewis watched in agony four weeks ago as his horse Danzing Tribal waited, and waited, and waited some more, hoping for room to materialize. It never did.

Now Lewis has had to wait four weeks to run him back in a similar turf sprint at Del Mar. If good things come to those who wait, Lewis and Danzing Tribal are well overdue.

Danzing Tribal appears to have the ideal style to capture Thursday’s featured seventh race, a first-level $54,000 allowance turf sprint going five furlongs for older California-breds. Danzing Tribal can sit and punch it in, a strategy that should prove handy in a field loaded with speed.

Now all Danzing Tribal needs to do is find room. He finished fourth last time out, beaten one length while having nowhere to go for much of the stretch run. Victor Espinoza is back aboard.

“He had an eventful trip,” Lewis said. “Victor is a good rider. I would say he rode the horse too good. Down the backside, and then from the 2 1/2-furlong pole until the three-sixteenths pole, I thought the ride was sensational. I thought he’d get a seam. But he didn’t.”

According to Lewis, Danzing Tribal can be difficult to deal with, though he has been better at Del Mar.

“He has a borderline personality defect,” Lewis said. “He’s a very difficult horse. His body developed, but his brain didn’t. At Hollywood Park, we couldn’t get him settled. We couldn’t get him on the track. He’s a lot more settled here. He’s been better mentally since he got here.”

Danzing Tribal drew the rail. A maximum of eight can run in the race. There are 12 entered, with the four also-eligibles including both Indian Ashton and Shadow of Illinois, who finished second and third in front of Danzing Tribal on July 29.

A Plus Topper returns to action following a seven-month layoff. He showed great promise during the winter, winning his debut and then finishing second in an allowance race before going to the sidelines. This will be his first start on turf.

Technician, Connagher, Reagan Republican, and Detroit Donnie also have good early speed. That could aid the cause of Blue Jay Attack, who overcame a tardy start to defeat maidens at Hollywood Park on July 9 in his second start. Like A Plus Topper, Blue Jay Attack is racing on turf for the first time.