07/25/2008 11:00PM

Hyperbaric lands in a tough spot


DEL MAR, Calif. - Hyperbaric's losing streak stands at five races, and that is making Julio Canani uncomfortable.

"I want to get his confidence back," Canani said.

Even Canani's confidence may take a dent when he sees the field Hyperbaric must beat in an optional $100,000 claimer over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar on Monday. The race, with a purse of $75,000, has drawn a field of 11, but will be limited to 10 starters.

The group includes Knockout Artist, who won a division of the Oceanside Stakes here in 2007; Fast and Furious, who was third in the 2007 American Handicap; Wing Forward, who was a game second in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on July 2; and Perfect Drift, the 9-year-old multi-millionaire who was fourth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in May.

Hyperbaric was third in the Shoemaker and returned to finish third in the Grade 2 American Handicap on June 28. His last win came in an allowance at Hollywood Park in November 2006. Owned by Prestonwood Racing, Hyperbaric missed all of 2007 but has been second or third in four starts this year.

Canani has an eye on the $400,000 Del Mar Mile on turf on Aug. 24, if Hyperbaric runs well on Monday.

Fast and Furious is seeking to end a 12-race losing streak for owner Arnold Zetcher and trainer Ron McAnally. Fast and Furious last won an allowance race at Santa Anita in February 2006. He has had just one start this year, a third in an allowance at Golden Gate Fields on June 19.

"He had a good race up north," McAnally said. "He's getting a little older and we're trying to find easier spots for him. He's had chronic foot problems his whole life."

Wing Forward, a 4-year-old Argentine-bred, is seeking his first win of the year in his second start. He was beaten a head on July 2. The Del Mar Mile is in trainer Mike Puype's thoughts.

"It's tough," he said of Monday's race. "If he's going to be good enough soon enough, we'll have to run well. There are no freebies at Del Mar."

Two entrants won their last starts in allowance races or optional claimers - American Imperium, trained by Gary Mandella, and Sartorial, trained by Gary's father, Richard.

The race features the California debut of Wood Be Willing, a 6-year-old horse previously trained by Allen Jerkens. Wood Be Willing, now trained by John Sadler, was a minor stakes winner at Delaware Park last year.