09/24/2007 11:00PM

Sadler's blue-collar pair can win

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - There will be faster, better horses to race this fall during the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita than claiming-caliber veterans Argentinisima and Skipaslew.

Few horses, however, are as honest as seven-time winner Skipaslew or eight-time winner Argentinisima, both trained by John Sadler. Neither horse is destined for a stakes race anytime soon, yet both could add to their win total on Thursday.

Skipaslew has won seven times in a 35-race career that includes a Grade 3 victory way back in 2004. Skipaslew is a contender in race 4, a $25,000 claiming route that is an enterprising class leap for a 6-year-old claimed last time off a win for $12,500.

The race Thursday was not in the original plans. Sadler said Skipaslew was claimed specifically for a $12,500 starter-allowance at Fairplex Park, but the race did not fill. Sadler tried to enter him in a different race at Fairplex. That race did not go either.

So why run for $25,000 now? "It's a jump up, but he's a good old banger," Sadler said.

True enough. Only one year ago, Skipaslew was competitive for a $50,000 tag.

Skipaslew is a late-runner; he and jockey Goncalino Almeida must overcome a lack of pace in the 1 1/16-mile route in which dropper Key Maker will be favored.

Argentinisima is the opposite. She is dropping in class, and sets the pace. She runs in race 6, a seven-furlong, $40,000 optional claimer. Argentinisima is an 8-year-old mare with 8 wins from 41 starts.

"At this point, she's kind of tough to spot," Sadler said. "We've been trying to get the right race for her. She's had a few issues this year, with gaps between her races."

Argentinisima drops out of a strong Bay Meadows allowance. Her rivals include lightly raced 3-year-old fillies Ask Sam and Intangaroo.

The feature race Thursday is race 7, a mile first-level allowance turf route for fillies and mares. Recent maiden winner Model will have to catch stretch-out sprinter Tizfiz; late-runner Onida makes her second start following a layoff and may be the best closer.