03/08/2007 12:00AM

Horse of the day for 3/9


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

BEACHNUT finds a soft field for his career debut, and he shows some quick drills on the work tab. The second dam was a Grade 3 winner, and the little-known sire is a half-brother to Grade 3 sprint winner Alke. Dan Hendricks and Corey Nakatani teamed up for 3-year-old Beezer's maiden claiming debut win at 9-1 odds a few years ago at Santa Anita, and their charge may end up in a good stalking spot with an alert break from his outside post.
MERITSNDEMERITS is certainly the horse to beat dropping back to the level of his 77 Beyer career debut. He broke from a tough outside post last time, but actually ended up saving ground behind a three-ply duel before failing to switch leads, and tiring badly in the stretch. He adds blinkers for a trainer that excels with inexperienced horses, and should be on the lead entering the turn. He likely won't offer much value, however, and has yet to gain ground from the stretch call to the wire. UNUSUAL MEN shows an improving Beyer pattern, but he's already had several chances at this level, and he was lugging in a bit during the stretch drive of his recent runner-up effort. He'll be running late, and would appreciate a hot pace up front.
ATILLA SANTOS took lots of money for his career debut, and raced evenly after a wide trip. He shows a quick 5 furlong workout since that race, and wouldn't be a surprise with that experience under his belt. MILADY'S PRIDE doesn't have much pedigree, but he may not need it to beat this field. He shows some solid workouts for a high-percentage trainer so take note if he gets early support on the toteboard.

The selection: Beachnut to win and place (4-1 odds or more)
YTD stats with starts, wins, top picks in the money, and profit/loss based on day's wager: 20-3-8 + ($47.00)