02/12/2010 1:00AM

Pair of new faces in Strub


ARCADIA, Calif. - Rain was relentless the night before the Grade 2 Strub Stakes on Feb. 6, and trainer Bob Baffert was not keen about starting Misremembered over the wet Santa Anita racetrack. He considered scratching.

"When I heard the rain all night long, I thought, 'I'm going to have to make a major call,'" Baffert said. "They made it for me."

Santa Anita canceled the entire Feb. 6 card and rescheduled three graded stakes to Feb. 13, including the Strub.

"I'm glad they cancelled," Baffert said. "I don't know if I wanted to run him" over the wet surface.

One week later, Misremembered remains the solid favorite Saturday in the Strub, a 1 1/8-mile race that picked up two good new shooters. Acclamation and Jeranimo ran Jan. 30 in , finishing fifth and fourth with trouble. The Strub seven days later was not in their plans until weather gave them an extra week.

Trainer Don Warren was brooding over the wide trip that contributed to Acclamation's loss in the Sunshine Millions when the Feb. 6 card was scrapped. "When we heard it was cancelled, we said, 'Boy, if they make [the Strub] the next Saturday, we might have to go back in there,'" Warren said.

Wish granted.

Acclamation, a Grade 1-placed colt who has been compromised this meet by a series of wide trips, wheels back in the Strub. He even had time to work five furlongs in the interim.

"He's really a good-doing horse," Warren said. "He eats more grain than any horse in the barn. He's really a hearty horse."

But is Acclamation good enough? Third-place finishes in the suggest he is.

"I'm only a couple of lengths short of making a lot of money with him," Warren said.

Acclamation has won 2 of 14, and Warren said he expects jockey David Flores to take the California-bred farther off the pace than he did recently. With a patient ride, Acclamation has a chance to outrun his price.

The trouble Jeranimo encountered in the Sunshine Millions was more conspicuous, because it happened in the middle of the stretch, just when Jeranimo was trying to make a move. Stopped cold at the eighth pole, he swung to the outside and finished fast. It was too late; he finished fourth by 1 1/4 lengths.

Trainer Mike Pender said the Strub was a last-minute call; Jeranimo, a 4-year-old, came out of his last start with sufficient energy and is "really on his toes." Asked if Jeranimo might be best as a late-running sprinter, Pender said, "The jury is still out. A lot of questions will be answered" in the Strub.

Jeranimo benefits from a jockey switch to hot-riding Martin Garcia.

Misremembered remains the horse to beat in the Strub. He has won four races and has three seconds from nine starts, including Grade 2 wins in the at Hoosier.

Runner-up against older in on Dec. 26, opening day of the Santa Anita winter meet. He was compromised by an inside post, was blocked into the lane, found a seam late, and finished well for second.

Misremembered stretches out Saturday to a more suitable distance in the $200,000 Strub, the final leg of the Strub series for 4-year-olds and the final prep for the Santa Anita Handicap on March 6. Victor Espinoza rides Misremembered.

Baffert bred Misremembered, who is owned by his wife, Jill, and George Jacobs.

The main rival for Misremembered is Rendezvous, who had been off 2 1/2 months when he returned Jan. 16 with a third-place finish in .

Eagle Poise, trained by Bill Mott, has worked fast over the Pro-Ride. The Strub will be his first start in California after running one-two in six starts on synthetic at Woodbine.

The Strub, race 9 on the 10-race card, also includes Massone, Viscount, Gallant Son, Heavenly Wind, Eagle Poise, and Smart Bid.