05/19/2009 11:00PM

My City by the Bay poised to score

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - My City by the Bay has lost all seven of his starts since he was claimed for $40,000 by La Canada Stables and trainer Jack Carava last June, and yet he has turned out to be a good buy.

He has earned a share of the purse in each race, placed in two stakes, and had a strong race at Hollywood Park on April 29. The losing streak could end in an optional claimer over six furlongs on turf at Hollywood Park on Friday night.

"He's a horse that tries every time, and I've never won a race with him," Carava said. "We'll win one eventually."

My City by the Bay was second on April 29 in an allowance race over six furlongs on turf. The 6-year-old gelding's running style changed that day. Instead of disputing the pace as usual, My City by the Bay closed from three lengths off the pace and lost by 2 1/2 lengths.

"He showed a new dimension when he sat back and made a decent run," Carava said.

Carava will not commit My City by the Bay to that style for Friday's race. With an outside draw in a field of eight, jockey Joel Rosario can to send My City by the Bay to the lead or stalk a pacesetter.

"You can wait and see what develops early," Carava said.

My City by the Bay, third in the Sensational Star Handicap at Santa Anita in March, faces a strong field. Among his opponents are Red Alert Day, who won his U.S. debut April 5; Topper Shopper, the winner of the Foothill Stakes at Fairplex Park last September; and Ketchikan, second in the 2007 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds.

Noblety won a $45,000 claimer on Santa Anita's hillside turf course on April 17, and was a troubled fourth behind My City by the Bay here on April 29.

Ketchikan is making his debut for trainer Richard Mandella and first start since finishing 11th in an allowance race at Saratoga last summer. Mandella fears Friday's race may be too short for Ketchikan.

"I'm guessing he'll be off the pace," Mandella said. "He's been seven-eighths already. I get the feeling he'll want to go further.

"I think he'd need a race to get started. He's training well and it wouldn't surprise me if he ran well. I'm going in there hoping to win."