10/26/2012 2:59PM

Santa Anita: Will Ryehill Dreamer be rusty or ready for Lure?

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Benoit & Associates
Ryehill Dreamer, winning the 2011 American Handicap, returns from a long layoff in Sunday's Lure.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Ryehill Dreamer vanished before adding any stability to the turf-mile division in California.

Sunday at Santa Anita, 15 months after his initial graded stakes victory in the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park, Ryehill Dreamer resurfaces as the horse to beat in the $65,000 Lure Stakes.

Six older horses entered the one-mile grass race, and Ryehill Dreamer might be easier to support if there was a little less mystery surrounding his disappearance.

“He got hurt, that’s all,” trainer Julio Canani said, declining to offer specifics. Perhaps it does not matter why Ryehill Dreamer left, anyway. More important is how he returns. Canani is bullish.

“He looks unbelievable,” Canani said. “He’s a good horse … muy bueno.”

Ryehill Dreamer faces five rivals in the Lure, including the good California-bred Red Sun, Group 3-winning import Polytechnicien, and fringe contenders Brushburn, Temple’s Door, and longshot Bud I Crushed It.

It is a decent bunch that 5-for-12 Ryehill Dreamer can defeat, if he is fit. He should be. He has 12 workouts totaling almost eight miles since late July, and Canani has aimed him to the Lure for weeks. Joe Talamo rides the 6-year-old Ryehill Dreamer, owned by Marsha Naify.

A good effort Sunday will lead to the Grade 2 Citation on Nov. 23 at Betfair Hollywood Park and a possible rematch with another 6-year-old who has something Ryehill Dreamer does not. That is, a recent race.

Polytechnicien won 6 of 18 in Europe before he was imported to trainer Richard Mandella. It was late August before he made it to the races, and Mandella was not discouraged by his comeback, last of seven in a Del Mar allowance. It was something to build on.

A Group 3 winner in France, Polytechnicien posted a sharp half-mile turf work Thursday and should move forward second start back.

“I wouldn’t say he is back to [European] form, but I think he’ll run better,” Mandella said. “And I think he has room to improve.”

Corey Nakatani rides Polytechnicien, whose best race should be his next race, possibly the Citation.

Red Sun has won 5 of 10, and is stretching back to a mile after finishing ninth in the Grade 3 Eddie D, a turf sprint won by Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint contender Unbridled’s note. Carla Gaines trains the 6-year-old Red Sun, who will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.

Temple’s Door drops out of the Grade 2 John Henry, won by BC Turf contender Slim Shady. Mike Smith rides Temple’s Door for trainer Jeff Mullins.

Bud I Crushed It moves up in class after back-to-back upsets against California-bred allowance company. Brushburn finished last in the John Henry in his most recent start.