08/03/2009 11:00PM

De Car Guy gets his ideal distance


DEL MAR, Calif. - Trying to find the right spot for De Car Guy is like making a souffle. It has to be precise. Five furlongs on turf is probably too short; a mile is too far. On Thursday, in the featured seventh race at Del Mar, De Car Guy gets to go six furlongs on the main track, which should be just right, and, trainer Bob Hess Jr. hopes, give him his just desserts.

De Car Guy moves back to the main track after a series of turf sprints. He is being wheeled back just 13 days after finishing third in a five-furlong race on the Del Mar grass. Thursday's race, like his previous, is for first-level allowance horses or $25,000 claimers, all of whom are California-breds.

"He's an owner's dream, because it's better to keep running him than to train him up to a race," Hess said. "He's consistent. The only thing I'm worried about running him on this surface is that he's a little weak behind, so I might not be able to run him back as quickly next time, because he might be a little cranky behind after the race. But I'd rather run him here than five furlongs on turf. That's too short."

The horse to beat is Steady Demand, who is making his first start for trainer Jeff Mullins and owner David Lanzman after being claimed out of a similar optional claimer at Hollywood Park on July 12 for $25,000. Steady Demand finished second in that race, and has finished first or second in 11 of 30 lifetime starts. But neither he nor De Car Guy has won in two starts apiece at Del Mar.

Mensa Heat has won at Del Mar, and turns back to a sprint after racing long on the turf at Del Mar on July 25. This will be his fourth start in two months, a typically aggressive pattern for trainer Barry Abrams. He had no chance in his last sprint, an open first-level allowance that was won by Zensational, who subsequently won the Triple Bend Handicap.

Switzerland is an intriguing turn-back play after going long in $25,000 claimers at Pleasanton and Golden Gate in his last two starts. He was a winner on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Golden Gate in his last sprint, April 24, in which he also was shortening up after going long in his prior start.

Russian Liquor is being aggressively jumped in class by trainer Jack Carava, who took him for just $10,000 on opening day, July 22.

Sidepocket Lou is coming back six days after finishing eighth in an open $25,000 claimer.