01/05/2011 4:54PM

J P's Gusto continues preparation for 3-year-old debut

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Benoit & Associates
J P's Gusto worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 at Oaklawn for the Rebel Stakes there.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Second last time out in the CashCall Futurity, J P’s Gusto worked an easy half-mile in 48.80 seconds on Wednesday at Santa Anita.

“A nice work,” trainer David Hofmans said. “I’m just waiting for something next month. I haven’t decided which race yet.”

Hofmans said J P’s Gusto will remain around two turns, so his only local option here next month would be the Grade 2, $250,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on dirt on Feb. 12. Also that day, and also at 1 1/8 miles, is the Grade 3, $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields, which has a Tapeta synthetic surface. J P’s Gusto won the Del Mar Futurity on Polytrack last summer.

At Hollywood Park, the stakes-winning sprint filly Pica Slew worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 under jockey Joe Talamo for trainer John Shirreffs. Pica Slew has not raced locally since arriving from Florida, where she won the Azalea Stakes last summer at Calder.

Paseana Handicap scrapped

On Wednesday morning, trainer Barry Abrams said he was going to run Party With Brando in the $75,000 Paseana Handicap on Saturday “only if it’s a four-horse field.”

Turned out that was wishful thinking. Of the eight older fillies and mares nominated to the 1 1/16-mile race, only two entered, forcing Santa Anita’s racing office to scrap the race. It has been run seven previous times.

Pender fined, suspended for medication violation

Mike Pender, best known as the trainer of San Gabriel Stakes winner Jeranimo, was fined $3,000 and suspended for 30 days by the California Horse Racing Board because his horse Benecia tested positive for the Class 3 drug Indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, after winning a race at Fairplex Park on Sept. 26.

Benecia subsequently was disqualified because of the positive test.

Under the terms of the stipulated settlement reached last weekend with the racing board, Pender’s suspension is stayed provided he has no violations of Class 1, 2, or 3 drugs during 2011.

◗ Jockeys Corey Nakatani ($500) and Victor Espinoza ($300) were given fines last weekend for causing welts or breaks in the skin with the whip on mounts at Hollywood Park in November.