01/13/2007 12:00AM

Horse of the day for Thursday


Santa Anita - Race 8
6 Furlongs
Maiden Claiming ($25,000-$22,500)
4-year-olds and upward
Purse $17,000

OLIVER TWISTED didn't run a step behind next-out 91 Beyer winner Gem Proof in grassy career debut, but has subsequently worked a pair of bullets on dirt, and trainer Julio Canani drops his nicely-bred son of Theatrical in for a tag for the first time. According to Formulator 4.1 statistics, Canani is 8-21 (38%, $2.20 ROI) over the past five years with horses dropping from maiden special weights to maiden claimers. The Theatrical - Gulch 'nick' has produced Irish Derby and Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle, and Oliver Twisted's dam is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Jade Flush. The second dam (by Seattle Slew) is a full sister to the great Landaluce. Oliver Twisted should get some pace to run at in this spot, and figures to be charging in the stretch. BROADWAY PLAYER's Beyer Speed Figures are consistenly good, but one has to wonder if the 5-year-old maiden has the requisite will to win. He has been the beaten favorite six times in his career, and has lost at 2/1 odds or less in his last eight races. He consistently loses ground in the stretch, and will likely face pace pressure again here. MAJESTIC AMERICAN was good enough to throw up a 70 Beyer at Del Mar, and he's been working steadily since early November for his first race off a layoff. He goes out for a solid trainer/jockey combination, and shouldn't be ignored if sent away at a big price. GETTIN READY lost all chance at the break of his most recent start, and a repeat of some of those back Beyers would put him in the hunt at a price. FUSEOUT got caught up in a pace battle last time out, but will now make the important third start of the form cycle, and could end up in the prime stalking spot off likely pacesetters Broadway Player and SLEWS THE BELIEVER. THROW DOWN BOY finished just behind a next-out winner in first start since February. Don't be surprised if he's tighter for this assignement, and his running style should fit the race shape.

The Selection: Oliver Twisted to Win and Place (4/1 odds or more)