10/02/2012 1:53PM

Santa Anita: Sadler gaining on milestone victory

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Benoit & Associates
Kettle Corn, the winner of the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park, switches surfaces for Saturday’s Arroyo Seco Mile on turf.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Some time in the next month or so, trainer John Sadler is expected to record the 2,000th win of his career. He can move closer to that milestone in several stakes at Santa Anita this weekend.

Through Sunday, Sadler had 1,991 career wins (including a victory in the Dubai Golden Shaheen with Our New Recruit in 2004). He added two victories on the opening three days of the Santa Anita autumn meeting.

“I think I can do it at this meeting,” he said last weekend. “I don’t like to look back, but it is something to reflect on. It means something.

“It’s hard to do in Southern California, and 99 percent of the wins have come here.”

Thursday, Sadler has five starters on the eight-race program, including Mechaya in a $50,000 allowance race for 2-year-olds fillies over six furlongs. Mechaya was third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 1.

This weekend, Sadler will be busy with stakes winners. Kettle Corn, the winner of the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park last year, switches surfaces for Saturday’s $150,000 Arroyo Seco Mile on turf.

The Arroyo Seco will be Kettle Corn’s first start on turf since a third-place finish in an allowance race here in September 2011, his only turf start in his 17-race career. The Arroyo Seco was chosen over the John Henry Turf Championship over 1 1/4 miles last Sunday.

“Sometimes at a mile there might be a lot of speed and we had to choose one or another,” Sadler said. “I’m not sure he’s a mile-and-a-quarter horse.”

What is clearer is the sprinting ability of Scherer Magic, who was third in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 5. The winner of the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship in July, Scherer Magic will start in Saturday’s $100,000 Tim Conway Stakes, a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint on Nov. 2.

Sadler described Scherer Magic’s six-furlong workout in 1:13.40 last Saturday as a “super breeze.”

There is racing on Monday this week in conjunction with Columbus Day.

In Monday’s $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over a mile on turf, Sadler will start Truly Marie, who was fourth in the Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar on Sept. 3.

Those runners, plus the starters in non-stakes in coming days, could put Sadler closer to his 2,000th win.