02/27/2009 12:00AM

Delightful Kiss just prepping


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Pete Anderson is never one to mince his words. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that the former rider said Saturday's $150,000 Canadian Turf at Gulfstream Park could turn out to be a "screwed-up race" because of the lack of speed in the field. Or when he declared he was basically using the Grade 3 Canadian Turf as a "workout" to prepare his Delightful Kiss for the Dubai World Cup on March 28.

Delightful Kiss will be among the favorites in a field of 11 entered for the one-mile Grade 3 Canadian, even though Delightful Kiss, a late-running son of Kissin Kris, has had the majority of his success on dirt.

"I'm running him here because he's run well on the main track off grass races in the past, and because it's better than trying to train him up to Dubai," explained Anderson. "If he wins, great, but to me this is like a mile workout for Dubai, and it will also give me an insight into his propensity to run on grass later in the year. But watch and see, this will be a screwed-up race because except for one horse, Hey Byrn, there isn't any speed in the field."

Delightful Kiss rallied from last to win the one-mile Grade 3 Hal's Hope here on Jan. 3. He fell short with a similar bid, finishing third three weeks later in the Sunshine Millions Classic. Delightful Kiss last raced on grass in May of 2007, when he finished ninth in the American Turf at Arlington Park. Three weeks later, he switched back to dirt to capture the Grade 3 Ohio Derby.

Hey Byrn has never raced on grass. The winner of the Grade 2 Holy Bull last year, he forced the pace en route to an easy allowance win going a mile here earlier in the meet but finished far back after showing some early foot in the Sunshine Millions Classic.

"Let's hope he handles the turf," said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. "I worked him once on grass and he seemed to really like it."

Despite Anderson's assessment of the race, there does appear to be ample speed aside from Hey Byrn in the lineup. Most notable are Bujagali and Buddy's Humor, both of whom have wire-to-wire turf wins on their resumes.

Just as Well may wind up the favorite, coming off a second-place finish behind the 2007 Breeders' Cup Mile winner, Kip Deville, in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

Vanquisher brings a three-race win streak into the Canadian, including a last-to-first triumph in the Tallahassee Stakes earlier in the meet.

Buffalo Man won the Grade 3 Appleton over the local course last winter but finished sixth as the favorite in the Fort Lauderdale in his 2009 debut.

The remainder of the well-matched lineup is made up of Rogue Victory, Sporting Art, Passager, and Twilight Meteor.