02/10/2010 12:00AM

Mott primed for breakthrough over weekend


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Bill Mott's satellite stable at Santa Anita has had seven starters in the first seven weeks of the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting. He will nearly match that in stakes starters from Friday through Monday.

Mott, who has the bulk of his stable in Florida, will start Dreamt in Friday's $60,000 Wishing Well Handicap, Eagle Poise in Saturday's $200,000 Strub Stakes, and Mushka in Saturday's $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap. Later in the holiday weekend, Mott has Unrivaled Belle for Sunday's $150,000 La Canada Stakes, Raging Wit for Monday's $150,000 San Vicente Stakes, and Treat Gently for Monday's $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap.

Mott has yet to have a winner at the meeting, with three second-place finishes, but has excellent chances for a breakthrough result this weekend.

Mushka is the most accomplished of his starters. A 5-year-old mare, she was placed first via disqualification in the Grade 1 Spinster Stakes at Keeneland in October and was second to Life Is Sweet in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita last November.

Mott shipped Mushka from Florida earlier this week to keep her on a synthetic track.

"We gave her a little break, and she's been working well enough for her," he said. "She seems to like the track out here. There were plenty of races we could have run back there."

Mushka must face Life Is Sweet in the Grade 2 Santa Maria, which is run over 1 1/16 miles and drew a field of nine.

Eagle Poise will start in Saturday's Strub Stakes as a possible prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 6.

"His form is consistent without being brilliant at this point," Mott said. "This race will tell us something."

Desert Code retired

Desert Code, who won the 2008 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, has been retired and will be sent to stud this winter, trainer David Hofmans said.

Hofmans said that no stud deal has been finalized. Owned by Tarabilla Farms, Desert Code has not started since finishing 13th in the 2009 BC Turf Sprint last fall. Desert Code opened his 2009 season with a win in the Daytona Handicap at Santa Anita, but lost his next four starts.

A 6-year-old by E Dubai, Desert Code retires with a record of 7 wins in 24 starts and earnings of $1,088,939. He won five stakes in his career, including the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap on the main track at Hollywood Park in 2007.

"His career is over as a racehorse," Hofmans said. "We're looking for a place when he can stand."

Baffert confident in pair

Four months apart last year, Bulldogger and Concord Point each won a maiden race in his first start for trainer Bob Baffert, tipping that they could become important 3-year-olds this year.

They are part of a field of seven in a six-furlong optional claimer on Friday, and Baffert has firm expectations for both. Bulldogger, unraced since winning a maiden race at Saratoga last August by 6 1/2 lengths, may need a start, while Concord Point, a winner on the opening day of the Santa Anita meeting, is the stable's best chance in Friday's race.

Concord Point, who races for Kaleem Shah, won by 1 1/4 lengths over 6 1/2 furlongs, closing from fourth in a field of nine under jockey Martin Garcia, who has the mount on Friday.

"When you win first time out here, it's a pretty good horse," Baffert said. "Especially the way he did it. He got behind horses and came around. Martin did a good job of staying with him."

Bulldogger did not race in the fall because of sore shins, Baffert said.

"He might need one," Baffert said. "It's been a long time off. They're both nice horses."

Only Camp Victory, who was fifth in the Stuka Stakes at Hollywood Park last December, has stakes experience in the field.

Lions Story will be making his first start since winning a maiden race over six furlongs at Del Mar last August. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Lions Story has had three six-furlong workouts since late January in preparation for Friday's race.

"He's finishing strongly in every work," said Dan Ward, Hollendorfer's assistant.

Dancing in Silks headed to San Carlos

Dancing in Silks, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint in November, will start in the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap on Feb. 20 as a prep for the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai on March 27, trainer Carla Gaines said.

Dancing in Silks was third in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap over six furlongs on Jan. 23, and Gaines thinks another start in the seven-furlong San Carlos will benefit the 5-year-old gelding.

"He missed a work going into the Palos Verdes," Gaines said. "I think another race will do him good."