04/27/2006 11:00PM

Lucky J.H. seeks upset

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Benoit & Associates
Three-time stakes winner Areyoutalkintome is vulnerable trying 7 1/2 furlongs in Sunday's Tiznow.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Areyoutalkintome looked like a useful claim in December 2003 when he was plucked from a $32,000 maiden claiming win at Hollywood Park.

Two and a half years later, the 5-year-old gelding by Smokester is still going strong. His 30-start career includes 3 stakes wins, 8 wins overall, and earnings of $592,667.

"He's just a warrior, he tries every time," trainer Doug O'Neill said.

Durability and honesty are admirable traits, but the issue Sunday in the $150,000 Tiznow Stakes at Hollywood Park - race 5 on the Gold Rush card - is whether they translate to victory at 7 1/2 furlongs. The Tiznow is the first leg of the $1 million guaranteed pick-six pool, and Areyoutalkintome is vulnerable.

is 1 for 7 at seven furlongs and farther, and 1 for 11 at Hollywood. He prefers shorter (7 for 21 in dirt races shorter than seven furlongs) and Santa Anita (6 for 11). Areyoutalkintome may win Sunday because he is a good horse, but conditions are not ideal. Lucky J.H. will try to play spoiler.

Lucky J.H., sired by Cee's Tizzy, was turned out after finishing second in the Snow Chief Stakes on the 2005 Gold Rush card.

"He was a big, growthy horse; we decided to give him time," trainer Carla Gaines said.

also was hampered by an undescended testicle that was surgically removed. He returned this year at 4 as an improved horse.

"It's made a difference in his training," Gaines said.

In his first start after a 10-month layoff, Lucky J.H. ripped to a four-length win Feb. 20 in a first-level allowance route. A quarter crack necessitated another break, but he has trained super into the Tiznow. A two-turn presser, Lucky J.H. could find the one-turn Tiznow distance ideal.

Victor Espinoza rides Lucky J.H., whose seven-furlong workout in 1:26.20 on April 20 was better than the time would indicate. Victor Espinoza rides Lucky J.H. for owner-breeder John Harris. In two starts at Hollywood, Lucky J.H. won a Cal-bred allowance but was disqualified and finished second in the Snow Chief.

The Tiznow field includes Excess Summer, 6, whose fizzling career showed signs of life March 24 when he won a $50,000 claiming sprint by 3 1/2 lengths. He has won 10 of 22 starts, but his recent speed figures are below the triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure par for the Tiznow.

, third in the 2004 Del Mar Futurity, is rounding back into form. Generalist sprang a 40-1 upset as a first-time gelding in his April 13 comeback. Red Warrior will roll late. Anziyan's Song earned a sky-high pace figure around two turns last time, giving him an upset chance turning back to a sprint.