01/18/2012 2:08PM

Santa Anita: Exotic Slew, Rockinarz Recruit tune up for future stakes

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ARCADIA, Calif. – With different long-term goals set by their trainers, Exotic Slew and Rockinarz Recruit seek their first victories against winners in an optional claimer for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Friday.

Exotic Slew finished second in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes over seven furlongs for statebreds here on Dec. 26. The $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for that division over 6 1/2 furlongs here on March 31 is a springtime goal for his confident trainer, Ed Moger Jr.

“He should run a great race,” Moger said. “It seems to me that’s he’s improving.”

Rockinarz Recruit has loftier targets, according to trainer Lloyd Mason. The winner of a six-furlong maiden race by five lengths at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 2, Rockinarz Recruit could run in the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 18. Rockinarz Recruit has been nominated for the Triple Crown, Mason said.

“He does everything right and he’s super smart,” Mason said. “I have high hopes for him. He’ll probably go long the next time.”

Exotic Slew and Rockinarz Recruit are part of a field of six in Friday’s six-furlong race. Exotic Slew, owned by Curt and Lila Lanning, drew the rail and will be making his seventh start.

A gelding by Bertrando, Exotic Slew beat maidens in his fifth start, a six-furlong maiden race on turf at Hollywood Park on Dec. 7. In that race, Exotic Slew broke from the rail and led throughout. In the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes, he was beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Got Even.

“He might have gotten outrun,” Moger said of the Dec. 26 race. “His last two races are his best.”

Two other runners in the field have stakes experience. Johnny Be Mine was ninth in the Golden Nugget Stakes at Golden Gate Fields in November and fourth in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes. Motown Men was second in the California Cup Juvenile in October, but unplaced in two subsequent starts – a fourth in the Grade 3 Generous Stakes at Hollywood Park in November and seventh after a poor start in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes.

Jack O Lyn and Coach Bob will be longshots. Jack O Lyn has won his last two starts – a $30,000 claiming race for maidens and a starter allowance in the fall. Coach Bob, another Northern California invader, was second in a starter allowance at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 29.