02/06/2007 12:00AM

Horse of the day for 2/7


Santa Anita - Race 8
7 Furlongs
Maiden Claiming ($32,000)
Purse $20,000.

BROTHER MAN faced three next-out winners in his career debut at Hollywood, then attempted to rally over a speed-favoring track in his first start over this surface. After racing three wide while in between horses for the first three furlongs of his most recent start, Brother Man advanced wide on the turn, and closed mildly on the far outside. He galloped out nicely, and gained valuable experience at this elongated sprint distance. He should get plenty of pace to adequately setup his late kick in this spot, and figures to be charging in the lane.
SIDEPOCKET CAT has some angles in his corner as he drops a notch for the important second start of the form cycle, but he may be forced to gun from his inside post, and figures to face pace pressure from EXCESS HEAT, CITY VOW, MY MAN SAM, and IDE TAKEACHANCE. The Cal-bred has a Beyer advantage over most of his opposition, but has yet to gain ground from the stretch call to the wire. SHUDAKNOWN is by a poor debut sire, but he catches a weak group for his debut, and his dam is a half-sister to route stakes-winner Good Courage (121K) from the family of multiple Grade 1 winner Lakeville Miss (dam of Grade 1 winner Mogambo). Trainer David Hofmans has had some success with horses making their debuts in maiden claiming events.
MY MAN SAM may have been compromised by an awkward start last time out. Expect him closer to the pace here. EXCESS DIXIE has had trouble in both lifetime starts, and now makes the second start off the bench for the high-percentage Jeff Mullins barn. Like the top selection, he should be running late. IDE TAKEACHANCE was reportedly gelded after his career debut, and he showed a good deal of early speed in that turf event. May appreciate switching to the main track, and should be prominent when they swing into the stretch.

The selection: BROTHER MAN to win (4-1 odds or more)

2007 record: 11-2 (3), +$37.20