05/18/2010 11:00PM

El Indy has distance upside


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - El Indy has shown enough encouraging signs in marathon turf races this year to try one again at Hollywood Park on Thursday.

In January at Santa Anita , El Indy was second to Bourbon Bay in an optional claimer over 1 1/2 miles on turf. Bourbon Bay later won three consecutive graded stakes at that meeting. After El Indy finished sixth in a similar race March 6, he was fourth in an optional claimer over 1 1/4 miles on turf here April 21, closing well through the final furlong.

"He ran okay last time," trainer Humberto Ascanio said. "He had a little trouble in the far turn changing leads."

Ascanio said he was encouraged when leading jockey Rafael Bejarano asked to ride El Indy again Thursday in the optional claimer over 1 1/2 miles on turf.

"He wanted to give it another shot," Ascanio said. "He wanted to ride him back."

El Indy, a 6-year-old gelding, is by top sire A.P. Indy out of Corrazona, the winner of the Grade 1 Beverly Hills Handicap here in 1994. He is a full brother to Olmodavor, the winner of two stakes and $706,540.

With Bejarano's presence as a plus, El Indy must show improvement to win for the first time this year. He is part of a field of six.

Thursday's race includes two horses who won their last start - Brushburn, the winner of a starter allowance over 1 1/4 miles on turf here May 9, and Thorondor, the winner of an optional claimer for statebreds over 1 1/16 miles on turf April 30.

Universal Peace, third in an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic main track at Santa Anita last month, tries 1 1/2 miles on turf for the first time.

Three runners are eligible to be claimed for $40,000: Dynamic Range, El Indy, and Favorite Meeting, who was second in the Hasta La Vista Handicap over 1 7/8 miles on turf at Turf Paradise on May 2.

Dynamic Range was sixth behind Bourbon Bay in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Handicap at Santa Anita in March. This will be his first start for a claiming price.

"I wish it were shorter," trainer Julio Canani said. "He's going to have to run his best race."