03/30/2012 2:16PM

Santa Anita: Haimish Hy may not be at best in Sidd Finch Stakes, pick-six carryover is $256K

Shigeki Kikkawa
Haimish Hy will make his first start since June in Sunday’s $75,000 Sidd Finch Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Is it foolish to expect Haimish Hy will win his first start in nearly nine months Sunday at Santa Anita?

Trainer Art Sherman does not expect the veteran to fire his best shot first start back, although April 1 would not be the first occasion he fooled his trainer.

“He likes to go farther, but he’s surprised me a couple times,” Sherman said in reference to a 2010 campaign during which he paid $25.80 in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby and $53.20 in the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar.

Yet the Sunday comeback is merely a prep for Haimish Hy, who is making his first start since arthroscopic surgery to remove a chip from his left front ankle. He faces five others in the $75,000 Sidd Finch Stakes, a one-mile turf race creatively named in honor of George Plimpton’s fictional baseball player. There will be a twoday pick-six carryover of $256,115 on Sunday's card.

Haimish Hy may be the two-turn class of the six-horse field, yet he is not necessarily the horse to beat. That honor goes to front-runner Dewey’s Special, expected to move forward second start following a long layoff.

Now trained by Jeff Mullins, Dewey’s Special was away nearly two years before his Feb. 4 comeback in the Grade 2 Arcadia. He set a fast pace, led to inside the eighth pole, and tired to fifth in a fine return. Dewey’s Special, 5 for 15 with earnings of $275,484, and Haimish Hy, 5 for 16 with $337,980, are the principals Sunday in the Finch.

Four others include dropper Calimonco, claiming horse Donato, late-runner Make Music for Me, and the curious 7-year-old gelding Dancing in Silks, who has never raced two turns and is 0 for 9 since an upset victory in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita. Dancing in Silks has won seven races and $1,498,415 from 22 starts.

The key for Dewey’s Special is avoiding a pace duel with stretch-out Dancing in Silks and front-runner Donato. Winner of the California Dreamin’ Handicap in July 2009 at Del Mar, Dewey’s Special will be ridden Sunday by Rafael Bejarano.

Though Haimish Hy has not raced since June, Sherman believes he is fit.

“I think I have him cranked up, but you never know until you run,” he said. “This puts him on ‘go’ for Hollywood Park, so I know where I’m at.”

Joe Talamo rides Haimish Hy, who will aim toward longer races when the Hollywood spring-summer meet begins April 26.

“He likes that grass course,” Sherman said.

Races under consideration include the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Inglewood Handicap on April 27 and Grade 1, 1 1/4-mile Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap on June 3. Joe Talamo rides Haimish Hy.

Calimonco figures Sunday as a top contender. He won the restricted Wickerr Stakes at one mile on turf last summer at Del Mar and then lost his next four starts in graded stakes. John Sadler trains; Alonso Quinonez rides.

The Sidd Finch is race 8 on the nine-race card.