12/28/2009 12:00AM

San Marcos may be next for Proudinsky


Proudinsky's win in Sunday's $150,000 San Gabriel at Santa Anita could lead to a start in the $150,000 San Marcos Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on turf here Jan. 18, trainer Humberto Ascanio said.

The San Gabriel was Proudinsky's first win since the Grade 2 Mervin Muniz Handicap at Fair Grounds last March and first start since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park on Nov. 27.

"He was real fresh in the Citation," Ascanio said.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Proudinsky ($5.60) stalked Lava Man to the final turn and held off a late run from 7-5 favorite Loup Breton to win by a neck in 1:46.91.

Owned by Johanna Glen-Teven, Proudinsky has won 7 of 22 starts and $1,225,953.

A.P. Indy-Azeri colt debuts Wednesday

Take Control, an A.P. Indy colt out of 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, makes his debut in a one-mile maiden race for 2-year-olds on Wednesday at Santa Anita. Trainer Bob Baffert downplayed any expectations on Monday, emphasizing that the colt will be better served with the experience.

Considering the way Baffert's stable ended the Hollywood Park meeting earlier this month and has begun this meeting, winning with 13 of 30 starters from Dec. 11 through Sunday, he may be underselling the colt's ability.

"I didn't want to run him short," Baffert said. "He'll definitely need a race. I'd rather get him the race and work from there."

Owned by Kaleem Shah, Take Control was purchased for $1.9 million at the 2009 Keeneland April 2-year-olds in-training sale. The colt had been bought back for $7.7 million at the 2008 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Take Control drew the rail for Wednesday's third race, which has drawn a field of seven, including Brace Yourselves, a game second in a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs in his second start at Hollywood Park on Dec. 6.

Owned by John and Cheryl Toffan, Brace Yourselves makes his two-turn debut.

"I think the distance will help," trainer Paco Gonzalez said. "We've always had hopes for the mare, but she hasn't thrown anything yet. This one looks like he'll make it."

Brace Yourselves is by Came Home out of Pacific Squall, winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Oaks in 1992.

Evita Argentina, M One Rifle to keep sprinting

Evita Argentina and M One Rifle, winners of Grade 1 sprints for 3-year-olds on Saturday, are expected to stay in the sprint division.

Evita Argentina, who won the $300,000 La Brea Stakes for fillies, is bound for the $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap on Jan. 31. Evita Argentina rallied from last in a field of 11 to win the seven-furlong La Brea Stakes by two lengths, finishing in 1:21.78.

"She's a late-running sprinter and needs pace in front of her," Sadler said. "When she gets it, she's really tough."

The Grade 1 Santa Monica is run over seven furlongs on the main track. Owned by Ted Aroney and Ronald Judy, Evita Argentina has won 6 of 13 starts and $611,400.

M One Rifle won his graded stakes debut in the $300,000 Malibu. The victory has led trainer and co-owner Bruce Headley to consider the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap over six furlongs on Jan. 23. M One Rifle led throughout the seven-furlong Malibu, his first stakes win since the Real Good Deal Stakes for statebreds at Del Mar in August.

"I'm pretty sure we'll keep him sprinting," Headley said.

Owned by a partnership, M One Rifle has won 4 of 8 starts and $378,572.