Updated on 09/17/2011 1:49PM

Elusive City making his U.S. debut


ARCADIA, Calif. - , the winner of a Group 1 race in France in 2002, makes his U.S. debut in a $52,000 allowance over six furlongs in Sunday's seventh race at Santa Anita.

Owned by The Thoroughbred Corp., Elusive City raced primarily on turf in Europe, but trainer Richard Mandella is convinced that the 4-year-old can be effective on the main track.

"He's trained well on it. He looks like a speed horse, an American type," Mandella said. "He's a stout type of horse."

Elusive City, who will be ridden by Gary Stevens, has eight opponents. Other candidates are Sun City Bradley, who won an allowance race for California-breds by six lengths on Oct. 9, and Sum Trick, winner of the 2002 Riley Allison Futurity at Sunland Park and runner-up in the San Vicente Stakes last year.

The allowance race is restricted to nonwinners of two, with maiden, claiming, and starter races excepted. Sum Trick won his maiden in the Riley Allison Futurity.

Elusive City has finished first in three races, but he was disqualified from a maiden race and the Group 2 Richmond Stakes in England in 2002 after testing positive for a banned substance.

Later that year, he won the Group 1 Prix Morny over six furlongs in France. In 2003, Elusive City was well beaten in three starts.

Mandella feels the colt can be effective on Sunday.

"We haven't wound him up real tight, but he's ready to start," he said.

Boston Common takes El Conejo

Jeff Mullins had strength in numbers in the sprint division with Excess Summer and King Robyn, and now he's all the stronger. The latest addition to his barn, Boston Common, benefited from a perfect trip when he rallied to capture the Grade 3, $107,600 El Conejo Handicap on Thursday at Santa Anita.

The El Conejo, at 5 1/2 furlongs, is the shortest graded sprint of the season for older horses.

Boston Common sat back in third as stablemate King Robyn, the 7-5 favorite, and 25-1 longshot Giovannetti dueled through fractions of 21.27 seconds and 43.83 for the first half-mile. King Robyn put away Giovannetti at the top of the stretch but immediately was challenged by Summer Service. Boston Common, ridden patiently by Gary Stevens, caught King Robyn and then Summer Service in the final yards to win by a neck.

"I told Gary I didn't think he needed the lead, and that there was plenty of pace," Mullins said after Boston Common covered 5 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:02.35.

Summer Service finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of King Robyn. Giovannetti faded to fifth in the field of six.

Boston Common ($11.60), a 5-year-old gelding, was transferred to Mullins by owner Richard Englander after a lengthy campaign on the East Coast. In his first start for Mullins, he won the Oakland Handicap at Golden Gate on Dec. 6.

"Mr. Englander was moving some of his horses around, and we were fortunate to get him," Mullins said.

Boston Common, a son of Boston Harbor, has now won 10 times in 28 starts.

Blazing splits in Friday's 2nd race

A wet-fast surface yielded remarkably fast fractions in Friday's second race.

The Student and Our Bobby V. fought through fractions of 20.75 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 42.82 seconds for a half-mile.

The pair faded in the final furlong to finish fourth and third behind Amerindio, who rallied from last to win by three-quarters of a length over Highly Tempting in 1:07.81. The track record of 1:07.20 was set in 1989 by Sunny Blossom.

The fractions of Friday's race were recorded electronically. Timer Jeff Tufts clocked the early pace in 20.96 and 42.94 seconds.

Candy Ride back to jogging

Candy Ride, the winner of the American Handicap and Pacific Classic last summer, has resumed track work after being given a break in the fall.

Owned by Sid and Jenny Craig, Candy Ride is unbeaten in six starts - three in Argentina and three in the United States.

Friday, Candy Ride jogged at Santa Anita.

"We could hardly keep him on the ground the way he was bucking and playing," trainer Ron McAnally said.

Grey Memo questionable for Millions

Grey Memo missed Saturday's San Pasqual Handicap because of an abscess in his foot. The minor injury jeopardizes his chances for a start in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic for California-breds and Florida-breds at Santa Anita on Jan. 24.

Trainer Warren Stute said that a shoe would be put on the affected foot on Friday and that Grey Memo could resume light training this weekend.

"We'll point for the Sunshine Millions, if everything goes well," he said.

Grey Memo has won more than $1.7 million. He finished third in the 2003 Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park, the best finish in the race by a California-bred.

Tizbud, the winner of the California Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November, will not start in the Sunshine Millions. Trainer John Sadler said Tizbud is only jogging after suffering a shin injury in early December.

Peace Rules, the likely favorite in the Classic, worked six furlongs in 1:13.20 at Hollywood Park on Friday.

Rahy Dolly and St Averil work out

Rahy Dolly and St Averil, two of owner Stan Fulton and trainer Rafael Becerra's top 3-year-olds, worked on Friday and are being pointed for stakes later this month.

St Averil, second to Lion Heart in the Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 20, worked a half-mile in 48 seconds. He is likely to return in the $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 17. Lion Heart is passing the Santa Catalina in favor of the San Rafael Stakes on March 6, but Action This Day, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in October, is being pointed for the Santa Catalina.

Rahy Dolly, the runner-up to Hollywood Story in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 21, worked a half-mile in 48.80 seconds. For her third start, she will return in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over seven furlongs on Jan. 19.

Rahy Dolly won her career debut by 11 lengths in a six-furlong maiden race at Santa Anita on Nov. 9.

"I thought it was a big jump to stakes going two turns after a maiden win," Becerra said of sending Rahy Dolly in the Hollywood Starlet. "We had to take the chance."

Becerra is anxious to avoid a meeting with Halfbridled, the division leader, who is being pointed for the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes over a mile on Feb. 15.

Few go from Malibu to San Fernando

The proximity of the Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26 to the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes next Saturday is costing the San Fernando a few starters.

Run at 1 1/16 miles, the San Fernando Stakes is the second leg of the three-race Strub series for 4-year-olds of 2004. The Malibu was the first leg and the $300,000 Strub Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 7 is the third leg.

Malibu winner Southern Image will return in the Sunshine Millions Classic or the Strub Stakes, while runner-up Marino Marini is bound for the Palos Verdes Handicap on Feb. 1. Plans are uncertain for Buddy Gil, the 2003 Santa Anita Derby winner, who finished ninth in the Malibu in his first start in more than seven months.

Three also-rans from the Malibu are possible for the San Fernando: Domestic Dispute (sixth), Blazonry (eighth), and Toccet (11th). They will be joined by Excessivepleasure and Touch the Wire.

Megahertz, the fifth-place finisher in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in October, is the leading contender for Saturday's $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap for fillies and mares over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Trained by Bobby Frankel for Michael Bello, Megahertz was second in the 2003 San Gorgonio.

She is expected to face Firth of Lorne, Garden in the Rain, and Mer de Corail.

Sunday's top race is the $100,000 San Miguel Stakes for 3-year-olds over six furlongs.

Our New Recruit turns in bullet

Our New Recruit, second in the Underwood Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 27, worked a half-mile in 46.40 seconds on Friday, the fastest of 45 recorded works at the distance.

Trained by Sadler, Our New Recruit is being pointed for the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap over six furlongs. Sadler considers Our New Recruit to be a candidate for the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 27.

* Alex Solis has been suspended for three days, beginning next Thursday, for careless riding aboard Royally Chosen, who was disqualified from victory in last Wednesday's Kalookan Queen Handicap.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman