12/28/2009 12:00AM

Easy does it for Macias in Eddie Logan

Benoit & Associates
Macias wins the Jack Goodman Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Slow him down.

That will be the message trainer Bob Baffert gives Victor Espinoza before the jockey climbs aboard Macias in Monday's $65,000 Eddie Logan Stakes at Santa Anita.

The one-mile turf race for 2-year-olds will be Macias's first start around two turns. Owned by Ahmed Zayat, Macias has won 2 of 4 starts, all between 5 1/2 and seven furlongs, including a neck win in the Jack Goodman Stakes over six furlongs here in October.

In his last start, Macias held the lead to the eighth pole in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes over seven furlongs, but faded to finish fourth, 2 1/2 lengths behind winner American Lion.

"I'm hoping to slow him down a little bit," Baffert said. "I think Victor might be able to rate him. He's really strong."

Macias has never raced on turf but he worked a half-mile on it at Santa Anita in October.

"He worked well," Baffert said.

Even if Espinoza is able to rate Macias, the colt is likely to be near the front in a field of nine.

Lucks Mine, who won a six-furlong maiden race on turf at Hollywood Park on Nov. 21, and Via Verde, who won a maiden race on the hillside turf course here in October, can race near the front.

Trainer John Sadler said Via Verde should have no trouble with the distance, being a half-brother to Musket Man, who was third in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes last spring. Sadler intends to run the Cherokee Run colt on a synthetic track in 2010, but said he wants to run him once more on turf.

Sadler said that Via Verde will wear blinkers on Monday that are slightly more open than the ones he has been wearing.

"He was a little slow mentally to learn everything," Sadler said.

None of the nine entrants has placed in a turf stakes. Sadler also starts Mr. Saturdaynight, who won a maiden special weight race over 1 1/16 miles here in October and was seventh in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28, racing for trainer Dale Romans.

Alfarabi, who drew the rail, was sixth in the Grade 3 Generous Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28, finishing 3 3/4 lengths behind the winner, Who's Up.