12/26/2011 2:19PM

Santa Anita: Home Sweet Aspen headed back to main track for La Brea

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Home Sweet Aspen will make her Grade 1 debut in Saturday’s $300,000 La Brea Stakes over seven furlongs on dirt at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – A puzzlingly poor performance form Home Sweet Aspen in the minor Cool Air Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park earlier this month has essentially been stricken from the mind of trainer John Sadler.

“She just doesn’t like the grass,” Sadler said.

Home Sweet Aspen finished last of seven in the Cool Air Stakes over six furlongs on turf.

Instead, Sadler’s focus is on the filly’s Grade 1 debut in Saturday’s $300,000 La Brea Stakes over seven furlongs on dirt at Santa Anita.

“Physically, she’s fine and has trained well,” Sadler said. “I expect her to run back to form.”

Owned by Jenny Craig, Home Sweet Aspen won her two preceding starts before the Cool Air, including the restricted Louis Rowan Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on Oct. 9. The La Brea will be Home Sweet Aspen’s most difficult test. The race is led by Turbulent Descent, winner of the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga in August.

“That’s going to be interesting,” Sadler said. “Turbulent Descent is very good.”

Other top contenders are Great Hot, who was third in the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland in October; and the undefeated Tiz Flirtatious, who won the Cat’s Cradle Handicap for statebred females at Hollywood Park on Dec. 11.

Sadler finished the 2010-11 winter-spring meeting with 36 wins, eight fewer than titleholder Bob Baffert. Sadler said his stable will be strongest in the second half of the meeting, which runs through April 22.

“We’ve got a lot of horses,” he said. .”It’s a different feel. I think we’ll come on strong at the end.”

Pathfork works toward U.S. debut

The Irish stakes winner Pathfork worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 on Monday and will make his next start in $150,000 Arcadia Stakes over a mile on turf on Feb. 4.

Sadler trains Pathfork and had considered Monday’s $150,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile on turf. Sadler said he is waiting for the Arcadia to give Pathfork additional time before his U.S. debut.

Owned by Silverton Hill Partnership, Pathfork has not started since finishing seventh behind Frankel in the English 2000 Guineas in April.

In Monday’s workout, Pathfork started behind stablemate World Renowned, drew alongside in early stretch, and finished about a length in front. World Renowned was timed in 1:14.20.