12/10/2007 12:00AM

Palladian General tries longer route

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - Jockey Joe Talamo will not be lacking in enthusiasm when he rides Palladian General in Wednesday's seventh race at Hollywood Park.

Asked whether Palladian General can develop into a stakes horse, Talamo had a quick answer. "There's no doubt," he said.

Time will tell whether Palladian General is that good, but the 3-year-old colt has had an excellent second half of the year for owner Scott Gross and trainer Carla Gaines. Palladian General enters Wednesday's optional claimer over 1 1/4 miles on turf following back-to-back victories in a maiden race for California-breds at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 19 and an allowance over 1o1/16 miles on turf here on Nov. 7.

The 10 furlongs will be the farthest that Palladian General has run in his career, but Talamo is not concerned. "This is what he wants," he said.

Talamo said Palladian General needs to be urged a little earlier in a race than some turf horses that rely on a quick turn of foot to reach contention.

"After riding him a few times, he doesn't have a big burst of energy," he said. "You have to kind of get after him."

In the recent allowance, Palladian General pulled clear to win by 3 3/4 lengths, the fourth time that Talamo has ridden him in his five-race career.

Gaines entered Palladian General for an allowance on Dec. 1, but scratched him when the surface was switched from turf to the main track because of rain.

Palladian General is one of 10 starters in Wednesday's race, which has drawn a strong field. Swift Winds, third in the California Cup Mile on Nov. 3, starts in the longest race of his career. He was closing well in the Cal Cup and in the Khaled Stakes for statebreds over 1o1/8 miles on turf here last April.

The New Zealand-bred import Centarvo should have no trouble with the distance. Trained by Jeff Mullins, Centarvo was third in a handicap over 1 1/4 miles in New Zealand in September 2006. Wednesday's race will be the 6-year-old Centarvo's first start since a seventh-place finish in an allowance in February.

Even though Palladian General has won his last two starts, he may not go favored. Mi Arcobaleno, second against a similar field here on Nov. 14, is trained by Bobby Frankel and will be ridden by leading jockey Garrett Gomez. Mi Arcobaleno, however, is just 1 for 9 lifetime.