03/10/2010 12:00AM

Hurricane Ike drops for belated return


ARCADIA, Calif. - Hurricane Ike's 3-year-old debut finally occurs in a $46,000 allowance race at Santa Anita on Thursday, a month after trainer John Sadler had hoped.

Hurricane Ike was being prepared for the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 15, but missed that race because of an abscess in a foot. The minor injury cost Hurricane Ike nearly a month, but has not dampened Sadler's enthusiasm about his chances.

"He'll run big," Sadler said. "He's a good horse."


Owned by Ike and Dawn Thrash, Hurricane Ike has one victory in five starts, a maiden race at Hollywood Park last July in his debut. In four subsequent starts, all in stakes, his best finish was a second in the Jack Goodman Stakes over six furlongs last October. In that race, Hurricane Ike finished a neck behind Macias, who has since won two stakes and placed in the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita last Saturday.

Hurricane Ike is part of a field of nine in an allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs. Two other runners are returning from layoffs - Sterling Outlook, fourth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity in September, makes his first start since October; and Daylight Storm makes his first start since a second in the I'm Smokin Stakes at Del Mar last September.

Sadler also starts Domonation, who was third in the Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes here Jan. 16 and sixth in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 20, both over a mile. Sadler thinks Thursday's shorter race distance will work in Domonation's favor.

There are three allowance races or optional claimers on Thursday's eight-race program.

* In the second race, Stalingrad makes his California debut in an allowance race over 1 1/8 miles on turf. Trained by Jim Cassidy for Barry Schwartz, Stalingrad has not started since finishing second in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park in September 2008.

Great Siege, third in an allowance race on Feb. 14, and Unusual Smoke, winner of an allowance race on Feb. 21, will head the betting.

* In the sixth race, the Sadler-trained Line of David will face winners for the first time in a one-mile allowance race on turf for 3-year-olds. Line of David beat maidens in a one-mile maiden race on turf on Feb. 13, his fourth career start.