Updated on 09/15/2011 1:35PM

Misanello - four in a row?


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The best claim of the autumn in Southern California might have been Misanello at Santa Anita in October.

Now raced by a partnership and trained by Barry Abrams, Misanello followed his victory in a $25,000 claimer on Oct. 21 with two wins in the span of a week at Hollywood Park in mid-November, quickly recuperating the cost of the partnership's investment.

On Wednesday, Misanello will attempt to win his fourth consecutive start, a $42,000 allowance race/optional claimer over 6 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park.

Abrams had entered Misanello in a $40,000 claimer Saturday, but scratched the horse when he drew the rail.

"That's not good for him," Abrams said. "I took a shot that this race would be easier."

Saturday's race was won by Waki American, who finished third behind Misanello in a $50,000 claimer over six furlongs on Nov. 16.

Misanello has five opponents on Wednesday, including Chumaree, who won his last two starts, and Donato's Run, who has good recent form. Both are likely to be close to the pace and pursued by Way to the Top, Very Caerleon, and Black Silk, who were disappointing in their last races.

Chumaree is trained by Eduardo Inda, who also entered Black Silk in Wednesday's race. Chumaree won a maiden race at Del Mar in August 2000 and returned seven weeks ago with a convincing win in a first-condition allowance race at Bay Meadows. He is likely to be on or near the lead.

Donato's Run could get an ideal trip if a speed duel develops between Chumaree and Misanello. Trained by David Hofmans, Donato's Run pulled an upset at 26-1 in an allowance race at Santa Anita on Oct. 8 and was a game third on his reappearance over seven furlongs on Nov. 10. His outside draw should give jockey Victor Espinoza plenty of options if he stalks the front-runners.

Much of the race depends on how quickly Misanello goes early. In seven starts in this country, he has been on the lead at the quarter-mile mark on five occasions. The most glaring exception came in June in a $50,000 claimer on turf when Misanello was steadied early and pulled up.

"He's a naturally fast horse," Abrams said.

In his last two starts, Misanello has not been seriously challenged on the lead in the first quarter mile and held on to win by a half-length on Nov. 9 and by 2 1/2 lengths on Nov. 16. Omar Berrio, who was aboard Misanello Nov. 16, retains the mount.

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