01/04/2012 4:25PM

Santa Anita: Runflatout returns from break in sprint

Barbara D. Livingston
Runflatout will make his first start following a three-month break Friday at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Runflatout showed promise at times during his 3-year-old season last year, but also left West Point Thoroughbreds and trainer John Sadler frustrated.

Runflatout had one win in seven starts during the season, a maiden race at Santa Anita in January. He later placed in two stakes. After a third at 3-5 in an allowance race at Santa Anita in September, Runflatout had one testicle removed. He remains a ridgling, with one undescended testicle, Sadler said.

Runflatout starts after a three-month break in a $58,000 allowance race over six furlongs at Santa Anita on Friday, a race that Sadler hopes will lead to a productive 2012 season.

“He looks better,” Sadler said.

Runflatout was nominated for the Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26, but was not entered.

“I wanted to start conservatively,” Sadler said. “I missed a little time. We think he’s a very nice horse.”

Runflatout will be ridden by Garrett Gomez, who swept the three stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday and Monday. Runflatout breaks from post 11 in a field of 12, a post that will allow Gomez to take an early lead or stalk the pace.

“I like it,” Sadler said of the post.

Runflatout is the only stakes-placed runner in the field. Last spring, he was second by a nose in the Grade 3 Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes and second in the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap, both at Hollywood Park. His summertime form was not as good – a fourth in the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park and a seventh in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga in August.

On Friday, the biggest threat to Runflatout is Obsess, winner of an allowance race for statebreds over six furlongs at Hollywood Park on Dec. 10. Trained by Bill Spawr, Obsess was claimed for $16,000 at Hollywood Park last April and has made six subsequent starts. During that span, Obsess has been second in three races.

Trainer Bob Baffert has two capable starters – D’pendable and Red Ace.

D’pendable has run twice, both on turf. He beat maidens at Hollywood Park on July 4, 2010, at 2 and did not start again until March 2011, finishing third in an optional claimer here.

Red Ace won a maiden race at Fair Grounds last year for trainer Steve Margolis and was third in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on Nov. 26. He joined Baffert’s stable last summer.