03/24/2005 12:00AM

High Standards tries to stay perfect


ARCADIA, Calif. - He's run at three tracks, at three different class levels, and with three different riders. Change, it seems, is good for High Standards. His one constant has been victory. Three times to the post, three times to the winner's circle.

will try to become unbeaten in four starts when he races on Saturday in the $75,000-added San Pedro Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita. This will be the first time he has raced at a track where he has competed previously, and he already owns a stakes win, having captured the Baldwin Stakes here three weeks ago.

But some things have remained in flux. High Standards will be ridden by his fourth different jockey. This time, it's Mike Smith, who replaced Edgar Prado, who replaced Jason Lumpkins, who replaced David Flores.

"I can't get a rider to stick with him," said Marty Jones, who trains High Standards.

Jones said that High Standards has been a pleasant surprise. He was risked for a $50,000 claiming price in his debut because, Jones said, "he's an average-looking horse, not a knockout to look at."

"No one was really high on him from the start," Jones said. "He's not real flashy. Some horses train really good, and some don't act great in the morning. He's a little horse who tries real hard."

In the Baldwin, High Standards showed versatility by sitting just off the pace. He had led from gate to wire in his first two races.

"Prado showed a lot of confidence," Jones said. "He took him back. That was the winning move."

Only five others entered the San Pedro, including Chandtrue, who suffered his first career loss when finishing sixth in the Baldwin. That was his first start since July, so he has a right to improve, but this start will determine whether he was just a good early-season 2-year-old.

Chandtrue is adding blinkers for this race and will be ridden for the first time by Kent Desormeaux. Both Chandtrue and High Standards carry top weight of 119 pounds.

Corey Nakatani, who rode in four of his first five races, is aboard Sea My Halo, who was purchased privately by trainer Doug O'Neill for owner Paul Reddam following a runaway victory in his debut at Charles Town on March 6. Sea My Halo got an 87 Beyer Speed Figure in that race, the fastest number of any horse in this race.

Because he was not an original nominee to the San Pedro, Sea My Halo was supplemented to the race for $1,500 at entry time on Thursday.

O'Neill also will send out White Pine, who returned from a nine-month layoff to defeat California-bred maidens on Feb. 20. He might have the most early speed.

Talking to John was second in the Baldwin to High Standards.

Ransom Demanded won a first-level allowance race on Feb. 23.