01/28/2010 1:00AM

Pashito the Che adds blinkers for Sprint


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Pashito the Che has been one of the best sprinters on the East Coast over the past six months, and trainer Scott Lake predicts that the horse will only get better with the addition of blinkers.

Lake's theory will get tested right off the bat when Pashito the Che opens his 2010 campaign against This Ones for Phil and five others in Saturday's $200,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint at Gulfstream Park. Although the Sprint is for California-breds and Florida-breds, all seven in the field were bred in Florida.

Pashito the Che had won three straight races and five of six dating back to early July at Delaware Park before dropping his 3-year-old finale by a nose to Digger in Aqueduct's Gravesend on Dec. 26. It was the setback that led Lake to make an equipment change he had been pondering for months.

"In his wins at Philadelphia Park and Calder, he got to horses and began to wait and then he did the same thing in New York," Lake said. "He made a big move and hung a little bit. He worked unbelievable at Delaware the first time I put blinkers on him and blew out beautifully here this morning."

Pashito the Che worked three furlongs in 35.65 seconds on Thursday at Gulfstream.

"I think blinkers will not only make him more focused and relaxed, but it should definitely put more speed in him as well," Lake predicted. "And if he makes the lead and makes it comfortably on Saturday, I'll be real happy."

This Ones for Phil returns to the scene of his finest hour, a 2 1/4-length victory in the 2009 Sunshine Millions Dash, an effort for which he earned a 115 Beyer Speed Figure. This Ones for Phil also was awarded the victory here last spring in the Grade 2 Swale upon the disqualification of Big Drama.

This Ones for Phil was sidelined for nearly five months during the second half of his 3-year-old campaign after having chips removed from both knees following his fifth-place finish in the Woody Stephens on June 6. He returned with an easy 3 1/4-length allowance victory at Laurel on Nov. 28 and has posted a pair of bullet works locally in preparation for the Sprint.

Machismo, the only member of the field to ship here from Southern California, finished second behind Georgie Boy in the 2009 edition of this race at Santa Anita, then finished a tiring eighth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen two months later. He is coming off a narrow allowance victory at Santa Anita on Dec. 31.

Sneaking Uponyou, Accredit, Drift King, and Rockerfeller complete the lineup.