04/09/2008 11:00PM

Ez Dreamer must overcome post 12


ARCADIA, Calif. - The Arizona invader Ez Dreamer certainly was not helped when he drew the outside post in a field of 12 for Saturday's $100,000 La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds.

Ez Dreamer must save some ground through the first turn to have any chance of winning for the first time outside of Turf Paradise.

Ez Dreamer does have a couple of things in his favor. He has enough tactical speed to grab an early position and he ran well in his only previous start on turf.

Ez Dreamer finished second to Polonious in the Pasadena Stakes here on turf last month. Kory Owens is the regular trainer of Ez Dreamer, but he started in the Pasadena for trainer Dan McFarlane and runs for McFarlane in the La Puente.

Owens watched in the Pasadena with interest and said that Ez Dreamer "was a little hesitant on the grass."

"They backed up the race enough that we weren't able to close," he said.

The Pasadena Stakes was Ez Dreamer's fifth consecutive appearance in a stakes. He won the Rattlesnake over a mile at Turf Paradise in January. The La Puente is the first of two scheduled starts this month for Ez Dreamer, who could return in the Arizona Breeders' Derby at Turf Paradise on April 26.

A large field in the La Puente should give Ez Dreamer a pace to follow.

Tiz West, the winner of a one-mile maiden race on turf on March 24, and Pistol Pete Afleet, the winner of a first-condition allowance race on the main track on Feb. 1, have shown speed.

Tiz West is making his stakes debut. The maiden win was his first start on turf and fourth start overall.

"He looked good on the turf," trainer Richard Mandella said. "I was a little disappointed he didn't win on the [main track]. He wants to be on the lead."

Lucky Honey is making his second start on turf, having finished a troubled second in a $50,000 claimer over a mile on turf on March 14.

"He had to get to the outside because he didn't have any room," trainer Rafael Becerra said. "He looks like a good horse on the turf."