08/16/2011 3:36PM

Del Mar: Bolinas cuts back following claim

Benoit & Associates
Bolinas will cut back to five furlongs on turf on Thursday at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Trainer Craig Lewis admits he is unsure what to expect when his recent claim Bolinas turns back in distance to five furlongs in an optional claimer on turf Thursday.

“Hopefully, it will work,” he said.

Lewis claimed Bolinas for $32,000 on Aug. 6, the day the 5-year-old gelding finished fourth in a one-mile turf race. Bolinas led to the final furlong and was beaten 1 1/2 lengths. The race was Bolinas’s final start for trainer John Sadler and only his fourth career start. He has two wins, including one on turf in early 2010.

Lewis saw enough in that 2010 form to claim Bolinas on behalf of Anapenny Racing. In all of his starts, Bolinas has shown speed, leaving Lewis optimistic that the gelding can be competitive over five furlongs.

“He appears to be a hard-hitting horse,” Lewis said. “He did break his maiden going short. The pot is very big. That’s what interests me.”

A full field of eight will run for the $65,000 purse. Bolinas drew the rail, which concerns Lewis. Klassy Saint, drawn next to Bolinas, has shown speed in recent starts.

“I don’t want to be there,” Lewis said of the rail. “The horse next to him does have a lot of speed. I’m hoping he doesn’t have to make the lead and can be very close. The purse lured me in. Let’s take a shot at it and see what happens.”

Aside from Klassy Saint, Bolinas may face early pressure from Nofty, who won a maiden race over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on July 14, in his eighth start.

Arresting Officer and Pop’shands Are Hot are threats from off the pace, having finished second and third in a similar race at Del Mar on July 28. Pop’shands Are Hot has 1 win in 27 starts and was beaten 2 3/4 lengths in his last start.

Arresting Officer made his fourth start July 28 and second for trainer Mike Machowsky. Second in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes for 2-year-olds last winter, Arresting Officer was 10th in his debut for Machowsky at Hollywood Park in July.

Arresting Officer will be ridden by Garrett Gomez, who had three wins Sunday.

“I’d love to be sitting third or fourth just behind them and let Gomez try to run them down,” Machowsky said.