08/30/2006 11:00PM

Eldon's Effort has edge in El Joven


With two wins, including one over the local course, Eldon's Effort might have a slight edge over a closely matched group of 2-year-olds Saturday night in the $100,000 El Joven at Retama Park.

The one-mile turf race is one of two stakes on the card for 2-year-olds. The other, the $100,000 La Senorita for fillies on the grass, goes as race 6 and opens a special pick four that includes both stakes.

Eldon's Effort made his last start at Retama, winning a 7 1/2-furlong allowance prep for the El Joven on Aug. 12.

"I liked the way he relaxed off the pace," said Bob Young, who trains Eldon's Effort. "It was nice to see that he would do that."

The allowance was Eldon's Effort's first start around two turns, and first on turf. In his previous starts, he won his debut on the front end in a 5 1/2-furlong race July 9 and was a close fifth in the $60,000 Middleground Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park.

"He's got a lot of speed, but you can kind of put him where you want to," said Young, who has given the mount to Casey Lambert.

Going Ballistic is a $10,000 supplement to the field of 11 in the El Joven. He won his maiden in his third start last out, which was his first start around two turns and first on turf. Going Ballistic closed with a flourish, winning by 5 1/4 lengths in the July 20 race.

"I think he's a horse who wants to settle through the early part of the race and then make a run," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Going Ballistic. "I think that's why when he stretched out, he felt more like he was doing what he was supposed to."

Cliff Berry has the mount.

Leading trainer Danny Pish has two starters, including the stakes-placed Spoonerism. He made his two-turn debut last out and closed for fifth behind Eldon's Effort in the prep for the El Joven.

Pish said he has sharpened Spoonerism since the race, and looks for him to be closer to the pace Saturday under Ted Gondron.

"I put a lot of miles on him prior to the prep and I wanted him to rate and relax," he said. "Well, that he did. He was way back. I had the colt completely void of speed, so we'll try to find a happy medium for the big race."

Locomotion invades off a maiden win at Remington Park.

"I only have two races under his belt, but we're extremely high on him," said trainer Bret Calhoun. "It will be turf first time, and he's had a couple of breezes on it. He seemed to work good on the grass. I'm not necessarily looking for grass for him, but I'm definitely looking for two turns for him. I think he'll improve a lot going two turns."

Quincy Hamilton has the mount.

The main players in the La Senorita include Round Lake, Mi Isabella, and Senora Tormenta, and all boast two-turn turf wins. Round Lake overcame post 12 to win a 7 1/2-furlong maiden race in her last start, July 21.

"She laid right behind the pace and was very professional," said Von Hemel, who has given the mount to Berry.

The field of 12 also includes supplemental entry Glamorous Cat.