03/09/2010 1:00AM

James develops two good sprinters


Several solid allowance runners did well in races here at Golden Gate Fields last week and will be worth watching when they return to action locally.

Trainer Greg James has a pair of nice sprinters in Adonia, a 4-year-old filly, and Reagan Republican, a 6-year-old horse.

Adonia won a six-furlong optional claiming sprint Sunday, one day after Reagan Republican ran second in a similar spot.

"I expected her to run well," James said of Adonia, who earned a 73 Beyer Speed Figure for her third win in five starts. "The week before she worked in company with Reagan with Russell [Baze] aboard her. She worked a little better of the two."

Adonia ran three times last year, finishing second in her debut before recording two wins. She did little in her comeback race after eight months on the sidelines, but James said she was scoped after the race and had "a ton of mucus."

She came back from that Jan. 24 race with a pair of easy works before sharing a 59.40 five-furlong bullet with Reagan Republican on Feb. 27.

James said he intends to run Adonia in a second-level allowance and then look toward a stakes restricted to California-breds.

Reagan Republican has 3 wins, 2 seconds, and a third in 6 starts. He has earned Beyers of 91 and 90 in his two starts this year.

James explained that the horse's breeder, Michael Power, was a big fan of President Reagan.

Reagan Republican set the pace but was pressured hard around the turn. He put away pace rival Schramsberg but couldn't hold off the stalking Off Kilter in the lane.

James said a post-race exam revealed Reagan Republican, making his first start in a race with allowance conditions, was suffering from a throat infection.

"He'll be really tough next time," said James.

Schvaneveldt gets most out of Run It

Last Saturday, the Dennis Patterson-trained Run It came flying along the rail in a $50,000 optional claimer, winning the one-mile race by a neck.

Run It, a 4-year-old colt who won the Alcatraz on the grass here last year, had to run for the $50,000 claiming tag as he scored his sixth career victory.

"He's a trier, an overachiever," Patterson said. "He really makes me look good."

Chad Schvaneveldt gave him a perfect ride. He has three wins, including the Alcatraz, in four rides aboard Run It. They missed by a head in their only loss together.

"He fits him well," Patterson said. "Before the race, I told him he knew what to do. He keeps him covered up, and he knows he runs well on the inside so he's not afraid to go there."

Patterson said he does worry when he enters Run It for a tag and is hoping for an allowance race for Run It's next race. Given the fact the colt is 2 for 3 on the turf, Patterson wouldn't mind if the race were on grass.

"It's sort of a paradox," Patterson said. "There's two or three outfits capable of claiming at this level. If he were to be claimed, it would be the price of success."

Merus Miami rounding into form

In the same race Run It won, Merus Miami, making only his second start in more than a year, loomed into contention into the lane before tiring late and fading to fifth.

Trainer O.J. Jauregui wasn't displeased. The 4-year-old Merus Miami won the Gold Rush in his second career start and was third in the California Derby as a 3-year-old before going to the sidelines for more than a year. He was last in his comeback, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint.

"He ran well, but he got really tired," Jauregui said. "He didn't switch leads until late, which may have affected him."

Jauregui, like many trainers, said he believes it is difficult for horses to work their way into shape training on Golden Gate's Tapeta surface. He said last Saturday's race should have his colt set for a big effort.

"I know he's got it in him," Jauregui said. "If he stays sound, he has a big future. I'd like to win the second condition with him. The next race will give us a better picture of what he can do. I think we'll see the real Merus Miami."

Jauregui said he wouldn't mind trying Merus Miami on the turf.

* Tyler Kaplan, the 16-year-old apprentice who won with his first mount at Santa Anita last week, is scheduled to ride Day With Desi in Thursday's fifth race here.

* Francisco Duran, who had only a limited number of mounts last week, is still one win shy of his 1,000th victory

* Fans attending the races Saturday will receive a free crewneck Golden Gate Fields sweatshirt.