08/28/2012 1:31PM

Del Mar: Red Sun returns after year layoff in money allowance

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Grassy will make his first start since November and first since being privately purchased and transferred to trainer Marty Jones on Thursday at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Red Sun doesn’t come out often, but when he does, he usually makes the most of it. Now 6, the gelding has won five times in eight starts during a career that began way back in January 2009, but has been interrupted twice by layoffs of more than one year.

Red Sun returns to action Thursday at Del Mar, in the featured eighth race, and will be competing for the first time in 53 weeks. His trainer, Carla Gaines, cautions that he may be a work away from being completely fit, but Red Sun has a history of running well fresh, so he can fire despite the layoff.

“He’s done very well,” Gaines said. “I’d prefer to have another work in him. In a perfect world, he’d have another work and the race would be a flat mile. But the meet is ending, so we’ve got to go. And he’s been training very, very well.”

Thursday’s race is at 1 1/16 miles on turf, a distance over which Red Sun finished third, beaten just three-quarters of a length, in last year’s Brubaker Stakes here. Prior to that, though, Red Sun won at Hollywood Park following a layoff of more than one year, and he was a winner at Santa Anita in November 2009 when returning from a 10-month hiatus.

There are seven older horses entered in Thursday’s race, a money allowance that includes stakes winners Grassy and Lucky Primo and the promising European import Polytechnicien, a multiple stakes winner in France who is making his first start in this country.

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“I think he’s a little short of being really ready,” said Richard Mandella, who now trains Polytechnicien. “But it’s the end of the meet, and there’s another month until we’ll be racing up there at Santa Anita.”

Polytechnicien has not raced since December, but when he made his first start of 2011 following a four-month layoff, he won an allowance race at Deauville.

Grassy is making his first start since November and since being privately purchased and transferred to trainer Marty Jones. He was previously based on the East Coast, where last year he won the Bowling Green at Belmont Park going 1 3/8 miles, so this race looks like an ideal prep for next month’s Grade 2 John Henry at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita.

Jones also has Rauschenberg, who has done his best work sprinting.

Lucky Primo returned from an 8 1/2-month layoff to win a second-level allowance at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 14. This race is designed to move him along to the California Cup at Santa Anita on Oct. 13.

Racing Aptitude and Thirtyfirststreet finished a distant second and third, respectively, last time out in a similar money allowance behind Obviously, who came back to take the Del Mar Mile last weekend.