02/01/2011 5:33PM

Gladding adds to Sadler barn's depth

Barbara D. Livingston
Gladding makes his stakes debut in Saturday's San Antonio for trainer John Sadler.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The phone call was quick and to the point.

“Lee, I’ve got a horse you’ve got to buy,” trainer John Sadler told Lee Searing last fall.

With that, and little extra coaxing, Lee Searing agreed to a private acquisition of Gladding, who won a maiden race by 17 1/4 lengths at Calder in October. “It was pretty simple,” Searing recalls.

Gladding made one more start in Florida, finishing fourth in November, before joining Sadler’s stable later that month. In his California debut, Gladding, 4, won an optional claimer at Santa Anita by 2 1/4 lengths on Dec. 29 and will make his stakes debut in Sunday’s $150,000 San Antonio Stakes, his 10th career start.

The race could lead to a start in the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 5. “We’re looking forward to it,” Searing said.

At the minimum, Gladding’s presence in the San Antonio is evidence of Sadler’s depth in the 4-year-old male division.

The trainer starts Twirling Candy in Saturday’s $200,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds, and has Sidney’s Candy on course for the $300,000 Frank Kilroe Mile on turf on March 5. Twirling Candy could also start in the Big Cap next month.

Gladding, who worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 on Monday, will be part of a small field in the San Antonio. The candidates are led by Aggie Engineer, who has won stakes in his last two starts at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita, as well as Big Shot Syd, Pode Ir, and Spurrier.

Sadler’s stable has strength in many divisions. He trains the leading older female in California in Switch, who won her second Grade 1 sprint over seven furlongs in the Santa Monica Stakes on Sunday for Searing and his wife, Susan, who race as CRK Stable. In December, Switch beat 3-year-old fillies over that distance in the La Brea Stakes.

Switch’s future is in longer races, Sadler said on Sunday. He plans to start Switch in the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on March 12, and perhaps in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 15. His long-term goal is a start in the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs in November. “We’re looking at six or seven races this year,” Sadler said.

Last fall, Switch finished second to Zenyatta in the Lady’s Secret Stakes at Hollywood Park, leading at the eighth pole before losing by a half-length.

“We kind of thought early on last year that she would improve with age, and she’s showing that right now,” Sadler said.

Last Saturday, Sadler unveiled a promising 3-year-old in the maiden race winner Runflatout, who won a six-furlong race by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:07.70 under jockey Garrett Gomez.

Runflatout has been highly-regarded since last summer at Del Mar, when he was scratched because of illness twice when trained by Carla Gaines. The colt was transferred to Sadler last month by the ownership syndicate, West Point Thoroughbreds.

“We feel he has the making of a really good one,” said Jeff Bloom of West Point Thoroughbreds. “Hopefully, he’ll come out of this in good shape and we can start getting excited about the Triple Crown.”

Turbulent Descent jogs

Turbulent Descent jogged 1 1/2 miles on Santa Anita’s infield training track on Tuesday morning, preparing for her 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes.

Beginning Wednesday, Turbulent Descent was scheduled to be galloped on the main track, a regimen that would continue through Friday, according to trainer Mike Puype.

Owned by a partnership, Turbulent Descent was the leading 2-year-old filly in California last year, winning all three of her starts, including two stakes. The winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Hollywood Park in December, Turbulent Descent will be heavily favored in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes over a mile.

Caracortado, The Usual Q. T. may get rematch

Caracortado and The Usual Q.T., the first two finishers of $300,000 Saturday’s Sunshine Millions Turf, are likely to meet again in the Frank Kilroe Mile, their trainers said.

Caracortado won the richest race of his career in the Turf, running past two-time Grade 1 winner The Usual Q. T. in the stretch to win by a half-length.

The Usual Q.T. is trained by Jim Cassidy, who won the $300,000 Distaff in the following race with Evening Jewel, the winner of two Grade 1 races last year. A 4-year-old filly, Evening Jewel may start in the Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes.

Evening Jewel and Switch met three times last year, with Evening Jewel finishing in front twice, including a win in the San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar last July when Switch was fifth. In their most recent matchup, Switch and Evening Jewel finished second and third behind Dubai Majesty in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Spring at Churchill Downs in November.

Amazombie was the surprise winner of the Sunshine Millions races at Santa Anita, winning the $200,000 Sprint in his stakes debut in an 11-1 upset.

Trainer Bill Spawr said the $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap for statebreds on the hillside turf course on Feb. 27 and the $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint at Oaklawn Park on April 14 are upcoming goals for the 5-year-old gelding.