12/17/2011 2:59PM

Santa Anita: Twice the Appeal almost ready to begin comeback

Tom Keyser
Sunland Derby winner Twice the Appeal has not started since the Kentucky Derby.

Twice the Appeal, winner of the Grade 3 Sunland Park Derby but unraced since finishing 10th in the Kentucky Derby, may start in the $150,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes over a mile on turf on Dec. 26.

Trainer Jeff Bonde said on Friday that Twice the Appeal is “50-50” for the Sir Beaufort.

“He’s been seven-eighths and we’re getting pretty close,” Bonde said of Twice the Appeal’s recent workouts. “Right now, I’m just thinking.”

The Grade 2 Sir Beaufort, for 3-year-olds, is led by Ultimate Eagle, the winner of the Hollywood Derby last month, and Mr. Commons, the winner of the Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar in July.

The Bonde-trained Sway Away will not start in the $300,000 Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26. Bonde said that Sway Away, 12th in the Preakness Stakes in May, is more likely for a comeback in January.

The Factor, who won the Grade  1 Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar in August, will be favored in the Malibu.