02/09/2010 12:00AM

Mythical Power tunes up for dirt


ARCADIA, Calif. - Santa Anita Park expects to host live racing Wednesday. But during this wet winter, schedules always are prone to interruption.

Santa Anita canceled last Saturday's card due to rain and insufficient drainage of the main track, then fixed the surface for an eight-race card Sunday. With another storm expected to arrive Tuesday, the week begins with uncertainty. The same might be said for Mythical Power in the race-7 feature.

The deep second-level optional $80,000 claimer attracted 10 starters, and if Mythical Power loses the 1 1/16-mile race, a convenient alibi will be synthetic surface.

"He is better on dirt, but I need to get one more race into him before he ships," trainer Bob Baffert said.

Mythical Power won the Grade 3 Lone Star Derby, a dirt race, by more than seven lengths last May, then was off seven months. His two starts this winter on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride produced a sixth in the Grade 1 Malibu on Dec. 26, followed by a fifth in the Grade 2 San Fernando on Jan. 16. Mythical Power drops Wednesday, and adds blinkers.

"Maybe blinkers will get him into the game," Baffert said. "He needs another race to sharpen him up."

Although Mythical Power is the most recognizable name in the field, disbelieving handicappers may side with Deal Breaker or Cigar Man. Both 5-year-old geldings already won the allowance condition; they entered Wednesday for the $80,000 claiming tag.

Deal Breaker won a second-level optional $62,500 claiming race on Dec. 30.

"They changed the conditions to optional $80,000 from $62,500," Deal Breaker's trainer Mike Mitchell noted. "If I stick my neck out, would they claim him for $80,000? I don't think so."

Deal Breaker won last time despite a wide trip; his closing style suits the closers-friendly track profile. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano, who won with 10 of 24 mounts last week, rides Deal Breaker.

Cigar Man won the second-condition allowance last summer, and drops in company for his first start in two months for trainer Vladimir Cerin. He will be ridden by Joel Rosario.

The sprinter Euroglide stretches out from a good third in a fast sprint Jan. 30; Calimonco also goes longer.