02/13/2009 1:00AM

Once timid Euroglide seeks stakes win


ARCADIA, Calif. At the least, the 2008 campaign of Euroglide was a puzzle. At times, it seemed like a crisis.

A gelding who won the first two starts of his career as a 3-year-old in 2007, Euroglide showed no desire to compete on the racetrack last year, finishing fifth, ninth, and being pulled up in his first three starts.

"He was afraid to run," trainer Peter Eurton said. "He wasn't enjoying himself. He went the other direction and got nervous."

Euroglide's situation brightened in the second half of 2008, a season that ended with a two-length win in a $50,000 claimer at Hollywood Park in December. He followed that with a victory in an optional claimer at Santa Anita on Jan. 7.

Those victories led Eurton and the partnership that owns the 5-year-old to enter Euroglide in Sunday's $100,000 Daytona Handicap. He will be after his first stakes win and his fifth victory overall.

Eurton said there has been no magic formula to Euroglide's return to form.

"Patience and age did the trick," he said.

With each month, Euroglide moves farther away from the summer of 2007 when he was taken out of training with a fracture in a cannon bone that resulted in a layoff of more than 10 months.

"It stopped him from running in the Oceanside" Stakes at Del Mar, Eurton said.

Last year, when things were going poorly, Euroglide was risked in a $32,000 claimer. Understandably, there were no claims submitted.

"No one will take a horse on the way down, generally," Eurton said. "People always think it's physical. It was more a mental thing."

The current winning streak has left Eurton hopeful that Euroglide can finish in the first three in the Daytona, a race led by 2008 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Desert Code.

"I think I can" hit the board, Eurton said. "I'm optimistic about the way he's training, maybe overly so."

I Can See making final start

I Can See, a one-eyed former claimer who rose through the ranks to finish second in a Grade 1 race last year, will make the final start of her career in Monday's $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap.

She is scheduled to be bred to Kentucky-based sire Exchange Rate this spring, according to trainer Steve Knapp.

In the Grade 2 Buena Vista, I Can See will be a longshot in search of her first win in a graded stakes. She has won 4 of 47 starts and $413,679, with 10 second-place finishes.

"She's had a lot of races and it's just time," Knapp said. "She's a nice horse, and we don't want to get her hurt."

Knapp has trained I Can See for Michael Miller since July 2006 when she was claimed for $80,000 at Del Mar. She has recorded two minor wins for Miller and Knapp since then and placed in seven stakes, including the Grade 1 John Mabee Handicap at Del Mar last summer.

"She was flying" in the Mabee, Knapp said.

I Can See has not finished in the first three in four subsequent starts. She was fourth in the Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap chasing a slow pace at Hollywood Park in December and ninth on a good turf course here in the Grade 3 Tuzla Handicap on Jan. 25.

"She didn't get a hold of the [good] turf at all," Knapp said. "If I thought she was tailing off, I wouldn't run her. At some point, you have to call it a career."

I Can See is part of an oversubscribed field of 14 in the Buena Vista, which will be limited to 12 runners. Modern Look, an import from Europe trained by Bobby Frankel, is the 119-pound topweight.

Evita Argentina may take on boys

To keep Evita Argentina away from top 3-year-old filly Stardom Bound, trainer John Sadler is taking an unconventional tack this month. He has entered Evita Argentina against 3-year-old males in Monday's $150,000 San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs.

Evita Argentina is not a certain runner, Sadler warned Friday, but he said the circumstances leave him likely to run the two-time stakes winner.

"We're leaning toward it with the thinking that we don't want to run against Stardom Bound and we want to keep her under a mile," he said.

Owned by Halo Farms and Three Sisters Thoroughbreds, Evita Argentina won the Grade 3 Sorrento and Moccasin Stakes last year. Ninth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last October, she has made one start this year, finishing a game second to Alpha Kitten in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes over seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies on Jan. 17.

"The last race she was hurt by a lack of pace," Sadler said. "There was no pace to close into and she still closed."

In the Grade 2 San Vicente, Evita Argentina will face the stakes winners Congor Bay and Gallant Son, and Ventana, who was stakes-placed last year.