09/17/2012 2:53PM

Fairplex: Clubhouse Ride can get setup in Governor’s Cup

Shigeki Kikkawa
Clubhouse Ride is an 8-1 outsider against Ain’t No Other and Indian Firewater in the Governor’s Cup.

POMONA, Calif. – Two Craig Lewis-trained veterans that know their way around a five-eighth-mile bullring are in with a chance this week in stakes races at the Los Angeles County Fair.

Clubhouse Ride runs 6 1/2 furlongs Wednesday in the $50,000 Governor’s Cup Handicap, while Quindici Man runs 1 1/8 miles on closing-day Sunday in the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds. Could both horses win?

“Things have to go really, really right for both of them, but they are both very decent horses,” Lewis said.

Both horses also like Fairplex Park. Clubhouse Ride won the $100,000 Barretts Juvenile, his only start at Fairplex, two years ago. Quindici Man’s three starts at Fairplex include a 2009 victory in the Pomona Derby and a runner-up finish in the 2010 Hinds.

Clubhouse Ride and Quindici Man have their work cut out. Clubhouse Ride is an 8-1 outsider against Ain’t No Other and Indian Firewater in the Governor’s Cup, while Quindici Man will stretch to 1 1/8 miles after just one sprint prep.

“I’m a little concerned about Quindici Man being 100 percent fit,” Lewis admits. “We ran him in that one sprint, and it might not have been enough.”

Quindici Man, a closer, ran fourth in the 2011 Hinds, compromised by a slow pace. This year, Lewis will leave nothing to chance regarding pace.

“Put it this way – if Gladding is the lone speed, he won’t be,” Lewis said. “I believe the vernacular is ‘rabbit.’ ”

Lewis nominated bottom-level sprint claimer Congrats Ski to the Hinds. If necessary, he will start in order to insure a legitimate pace for late-runner Quindici Man, a 7-for-37 veteran who has earned $516,816.

First up is a twilight card Wednesday (4 p.m. first post) and a race 10 feature in which the pace scenario is not a worry for course specialist Clubhouse Ride.

“He seems to have a fondness for the racetrack, and if the right situation develops, he has a chance,” Lewis said. “I’m hopeful it develops as it appears.”

Count on it. Nine entered the Governor’s Cup, including four who race on or near the lead – Ain’t No Other, the 5-2 favorite; Indian Firewater, a Grade 2 winner with fast works for his first start in three months; along with speedsters L.A. Weekend and Close to the Edge.

The race could set up for a finisher. Clubhouse Ride’s recent figures are modest, but his most recent start in a $96,000 stakes at Del Mar was better than the sixth-place finish suggests. He made a premature move, lost ground, and finished only 3 1/2 lengths back.

Clubhouse Ride, 2 for 18 with earnings of $349,100, switches to Aaron Gryder.

The favorite is Ain’t No Other, who recently shipped from trainer Jerry Hollendorfer’s stable at Golden Gate to Betfair Hollywood Park. Assistant trainer Dan Ward said Ain’t No Other “worked really well. He has run well on dirt.”

Martin Pedroza rides Ain’t No Other, who has won six races and $277,173 from 17 starts. The Governor’s Cup could lead to a start Oct. 13 in the $100,000 California Cup Sprint at Santa Anita.

Indian Firewater will be supported based on good allowance-race efforts for trainer Bob Baffert. Martin Garcia rides the 5-year-old.

Baffert also entered Tweebster, who will be ridden by David Flores.

Other starters include Legal Separation, Charlie’sboywins, and Candy’s Sunrise.