03/20/2007 11:00PM

'Sensational' tries to put it all together


ARCADIA, Calif. - At various times in the last year, Sensational Score has been a stakes winner, a slacker, and a morning glory. Sometimes, he can be all three at the same time, trainer Mike Machowsky said.

Machowsky is hoping the stakes winner in Sensational Score will be foremost on display Friday. A 4-year-old colt, Sensational Score tries for his third win in an optional claimer over a mile on turf in the seventh race at Santa Anita.

"He trains like he'll be a nice horse," Machowsky said. "He's kind of a little immature, and he's slowly coming around. He's never really serious about things. One of these days he'll put it all together. He's been working super - again."

Sensational Score won the Pomona Derby at Fairplex Park over about 1 1/8 miles on dirt last September. He has lost his last four starts, including a second in an optional claimer at Hollywood Park in December.

At this meeting, Sensational Score was ninth in the Grade 2 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes in January and sixth in an optional claimer over 1 1/2 miles on turf on Feb. 8. Machowsky plans to run Sensational Score on the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park this spring and summer.

Machowsky thinks Sensational Score is better on turf than dirt. "I think he needs a little traction on the turf," he said.

Sensational Score has drawn the rail in Friday's race, which has drawn a field of eight.

Lightning Hit, who won a division of the Oceanside Stakes over a mile on turf at Del Mar last July, will be making his first start since finishing eighth in the Grade 3 Sir Beaufort Stakes here on Dec. 26. Trained by Ron McAnally, Lightning Hit has worked on turf on a weekly basis since Feb. 18.

Lightning Hit is a closer who must catch Gem Proof, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Paddy Gallagher. Gem Proof won twice in December, a six-furlong maiden race at Hollywood Park and an allowance race over a mile here. He was third, beaten a head, in an optional claimer over a mile on turf on Feb. 25.

Cervelo will be well-backed. A 6-year-old horse, he finished second by a nose in the Turf Paradise Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf in February. Trained by Mike Puype, Cervelo won an allowance race over a mile on turf here in January.