Updated on 09/16/2011 6:57AM

Menacing Dennis perfect in junior leagues


ARCADIA, Calif. - The lure of the Triple Crown has yet to be felt by the connections of Menacing Dennis, who, with a victory in an allowance race on Wednesday at Santa Anita, is unbeaten in two starts.

Making his first start since winning a maiden race at Monmouth Park last July, Menacing Dennis ran six furlongs in 1:10, beating longtime leader True Monarch by two lengths.

The allowance race was a prep for the $100,000 Zany Tactics Stakes for California-bred 3-year-olds over 6 1/2 furlongs on April 7 and not a major prep for the Kentucky Derby, trainer Jeff Bonde said.

"We got a late start and we want to inch our way up," Bonde said.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza for JMJ Racing Stable, Menacing Dennis stalked True Monarch for the first quarter-mile, drew even on the turn and pulled away in the final furlong.

"He got to looking around at the end, but he seemed to have the race under control," Bonde said. "We needed this race as a starting point. I hope he makes an impact later this year."

Siphonic, Mayakovsky work

Over different racetracks, top 3-year-olds Siphonic and Mayakovsky each worked seven furlongs to remain on schedule for important Derby preps on March 17.

At Hollywood Park, Siphonic, the winner of the Hollywood Futurity in December, was timed in 1:24.40 under jockey Chris McCarron. At Santa Anita, Mayakovsky worked in 1:24.20 under jockey Edgar Prado, who flew in from Florida to work the colt.

, considered the top Kentucky Derby prospect in California, is preparing for a start in the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 17, his first race since finishing second to Labamta Babe in the Santa Catalina Stakes on Jan. 19.

"He worked with another horse and he did very well," trainer David Hofmans said. "He's coming over to Santa Anita on Saturday and he'll work over that track."

Mayakovsky is being pointed for the $200,000 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. Biancone considered the San Felipe, but is leaning toward the Gotham because the race is run around a one-turn mile.

"I think it would be a better race for him," Biancone said. "I think a mile over one turn will be testing and we can assess if he can stay. If we go back sprinting, we can go one turn and not teach two turns for nothing. We'll see he finishes and how he gallops out."

Prado rode Mayakovsky for the first time since September when the colt was sidelined with a leg injury. Last year, Prado rode Mayakovsky to a maiden win and a second to Came Home in the Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga. "He really looks like he's grown up a lot," he said. "He ran every step of the way and responded. I don't think a mile will be a problem."

San Felipe works

Three other prospects for the San Felipe Stakes worked on Wednesday. At Santa Anita, Mountain Rage, the winner of the Generous Stakes on turf last November worked six furlongs in 1:11.80. Puerto Banus, who finished second in the Sham Stakes on Feb. 8, worked six furlongs in 1:12. Both are trained by Bob Baffert.

At Hollywood Park, Sunday Break, the winner of an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 22, worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 for trainer Neil Drysdale. The San Felipe will be Sunday Break's stakes debut.

The 3-year-old filly Bella Bellucci worked six furlongs in 1:15, but trainer Neil Drysdale does not have a specific race in mind for her seasonal debut. She was third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Belmont Park.

Small fields for Grade 1 stakes

Neither of the Grade 1 stakes for females this weekend will have large fields. Saturday's $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks is expected to include Adoration, Daddy's Gold, Dancing, Farda Amiga, Habibti, Respectful, and You. You, the winner of the Las Virgenes Stakes on Feb. 10, will be favored in the Oaks, which is run over 1 1/16 miles. Dancing, the winner of the Santa Ynez Stakes in January, may return eight days after she finished sixth in the La Habra Stakes on the hillside turf course. She will be supplemented for $6,000.

Tali'sluckbusride, who finished third behind You and Habibti, in the Las Virgenes, will be given a rest following minor surgery to have bone chips removed from ankles, according to owner Ron Anson. "We decided to give her a couple of months off," he said. "We took a few flakes out. We'll give her 75 days off and she'll run at Del Mar."

Sunday's $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap is expected to include Alexine, Azeri, Favorite Funtime, Printemps, Tropical Lady, Spain, and Verruma.

Spain is the likely favorite and will be ridden by Victor Espinoza.

Time off for Pelirrojo

Pelirrojo, who finished sixth in the Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes in his stakes debut last weekend, will be given 30 to 40 days off after a nuclear scan detected a problem with his right knee, trainer John Sadler said.

X-rays taken on Tuesday did not reveal any major injuries, but Sadler said Pelirrojo will be given a break as a precaution. "With advances in modern medicine, we caught it before it became something serious," Sadler said.

Godolphin horses to arrive in April

Trainer Eoin Harty on Wednesday said that Godolphin Racing will send 50 2-year-olds to California on April 6, the third year the Maktoum family has campaigned a large string of juveniles in the United States.

Last year, the Godolphin division was led by Tempera, who won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and was named champion 2-year-old filly.

Harty, who was in California to attend the 2-year-olds in-training sale, said the group will be based at Fairplex Park in Pomona until late April and they will have their first starters in late May or early June.

* Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will ride Western Pride, the runner-up in the Santa Anita Handicap last Saturday, in the $6 million Dubai World Cup. Valenzuela, who has won 13 races at this meeting, has never ridden in the World Cup. Last weekend, Valenzuela was suspended for five days for causing interference in the eighth race on May 1, but has received a stay allowing him to continue riding until an appeal is heard.