10/24/2012 3:02PM

Santa Anita: Planet Sunshine may be due for a win

Shigeki Kikkawa
Tweebster is winless in his last 10 starts, since an optional claimer at Hollywood Park in December 2010.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The recent string of second-place finishes by Planet Sunshine is getting old to trainer Art Sherman.

“He needs to win one,” Sherman said. “He’s run too well to get beat. I feel sorry for him.”

Planet Sunshine can end a three-race losing streak in an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Friday. Owned by breeder Tom Shapiro, Planet Sunshine may be favored in a field of eight.

A 4-year-old California-bred by Benchmark, Planet Sunshine won a starter allowance and an allowance race in consecutive starts at Betfair Hollywood Park in May and June when trained by Art Sherman’s son, Steve Sherman.

For Art Sherman, Planet Sunshine was third to the Grade 1 winner Jaycito in an optional claimer at Del Mar on July 22, second by a nose in a similar race Aug. 12, and second here Sept. 28, beaten three-quarters of a length.

“Sometimes you feel, ‘Wow, there is always a horse that can beat him,’ ” Sherman said. “He’s a hard-trier. You can put him wherever you want.”

Sherman said that if Planet Sunshine continues to develop, he could start in a stakes for California-breds in 2013.

Planet Sunshine’s opposition in Friday’s race includes the graded stakes-placed Tweebster, the stakes-placed Liberty Cap, and Tizpat, the winner of an optional claimer at Fairplex Park in September.

Tweebster, trained by Bob Baffert, is entered to be claimed for $40,000. Second in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes in 2011, Tweebster was sixth in the Governor’s Cup Handicap at Fairplex Park on Sept. 19. He is winless in his last 10 starts, since an optional claimer at Hollywood Park in December 2010.

Liberty Cap was second in the Darn that Alarm Handicap at Calder on Sept. 1, his final start on that circuit for trainer Christos Gatis. In his California debut, he was eighth in a field of nine in a starter allowance over 1 3/8 miles at Fairplex Park on Sept. 20.

Since then, Liberty Cap has worked three times at Hollywood Park for trainer Peter Eurton. A 4-year-old gelding, Liberty Cap’s Florida form would make him competitive in this field. He is entered to be claimed for $40,000.

Tizpat won an optional claimer for California-breds at Fairplex Park on Sept. 19, his second win in 10 starts for trainer Jerry Fanning. Tizpat won a $30,000 claimer for maidens here last February.