08/13/2009 11:00PM

McAnally tries to end slump


DEL MAR, Calif. - The setting remains the same. Each morning, trainer Ron McAnally takes his position on a balcony above his barn, the one that affords an almost complete view of Del Mar's racetrack, and, off in the distance, a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.

From there, McAnally, 77, can easily watch his horses train. This year, however, there has not been much to watch. McAnally has just 12 horses in training and is not having the level of success common for the Hall of Fame trainer. McAnally has two wins from 53 starters this year, and was winless with his first three runners at this meeting.

The drought started last fall when owner Arnold Zetcher removed about 18 horses from McAnally's stable, ending an eight-year relationship. Zetcher placed the horses with other trainers, notably Bob Baffert and John Shirreffs.

This weekend, McAnally could have a much-needed turnaround. Sunday, he runs Charming Legacy in the $350,000 John Mabee Stakes for fillies and mares on turf. Earlier in the day, Massone, third in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes in April, starts in an optional claimer on turf. McAnally had the promising turf horse Buenos Dias entered in an allowance race on Saturday.

"Those are the best three horses in the barn," he said.

Charming Legacy is owned by Zetcher's wife, Ellen, in partnership with McAnally's wife, Debbie, who bred the mare. The 6-year-old has won 4 of 16 starts and $259,711 and was beaten just a head in the Grade 2 Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 28.

Charming Legacy is a one-paced mare, McAnally said, and seems to thrive at longer distances. The Grade 1 Mabee is run at 1 1/8 miles on turf, and should suit Charming Legacy.

"She doesn't have a big burst of speed," McAnally said. "I think the longer distance will be in her favor."

Massone, owned by Frankfurt Stable, has one victory in 13 starts, and has placed in four stakes this year. He was third in the Grade 3 Cinema Handicap on turf at Hollywood Park on June 21 and fourth in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes on the main track there on July 18. McAnally has the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes at a mile on the main track on Sept. 5 as a summertime goal for Massone, and is using Sunday's turf race at 1 1/8 miles as a prep.

"It would be too long [to wait] for the race at the end of the meeting," McAnally said. "I think he's a little better on the [main track]. He ran a good race at Keeneland in the Blue Grass on Polytrack."

Massone was beaten 2 3/4 lengths by General Quarters in the Blue Grass, his only appearance in a Grade 1.

A win by him or Charming Legacy would pick up spirits around the stable.

"You get good times and bad times and they both change," McAnally said. "That's life."

Mast Track may try Pacific Classic

Mast Track, second to Informed in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on Aug. 2, is a candidate for the $1 million Pacific Classic on Sept. 6, according to Humberto Ascanio, Bobby Frankel's assistant at Del Mar.

"He ran a good race the other day," Ascanio said. "I think he likes this track."

Mast Track finished second by a nose in the San Diego. Owned by Frankel, Mast Track has won 5 of 17 starts and $852,022. His biggest career win came in the 2008 Hollywood Gold Cup, which was followed by a third behind Go Between and Well Armed in the Pacific Classic.

The Pacific Classic field will not include Global Hunter, who won the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on turf on July 25 and was third in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes for sprinters on Aug. 8.

Trainer A.C. Avila said Global Hunter will be pointed for the $300,000 Pat O'Brien Stakes at seven furlongs on Sept. 6.

Other possible starters for the Pacific Classic are Awesome Gem, Colonel John, Einstein, Informed, Rail Trip, Song of Navarone, and Tres Borrachos.

Reyes to ride during appeal

Apprentice jockey Christian Santiago Reyes has received a temporary restraining order, allowing him to continue riding while he contests a five-day suspension for a riding infraction issued earlier at this meeting, according to his agent, Tony Matos.

The restraining order has allowed Reyes to ride this weekend. He could face further sanctions by track stewards for his involvement in a disqualification on Thursday. Reyes finished first in the seventh race aboard Cape of Bradford, but was disqualified and placed second for interfering with Empressive Lady in the stretch.

Through Thursday, Reyes, 19, was tied for fifth in the standings with 11 wins, 10 fewer than leader Joel Rosario.

* The HRTV network began airing a nightly replay show for Del Mar races on Saturday. The 30-minute program airs at 10:30 p.m. Pacific after each day of racing.