01/11/2006 12:00AM

Stakes an option for Osidy


ARCADIA, Calif. - Osidy, the winner of the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park last month, will start this weekend at Santa Anita.

Whether he starts in a $60,000 optional claimer at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Friday or the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on dirt on Saturday will be decided before Friday.

Trainer Richard Mandella has the San Fernando as a main goal, but entered Osidy in Friday's race when it was offered as a late addition to the card.

"When this came up, I thought it was worth looking at," Mandella said. He said he has yet to discuss the two races with Osidy's owner, B. Wayne Hughes.

Friday's feature race was supposed to be the $75,000 Paseana Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, but the race was not used after drawing a low number of entries. A prep to stakes in coming weeks, the Paseana has been rescheduled for Thursday, Jan. 19.

form on turf is well established. Aside from the Will Rogers, he placed in three turf stakes last year, including a third-place finish in the $400,000 Del Mar Derby in September. Osidy has made one start on dirt, finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at seven furlongs here on Dec. 26.

Friday's turf race has drawn a strong field. All seven entrants have stakes experience.

was a stakes winner in Chile, Special Matter won the 2003 Carleton Burke Handicap, Texcess won the $1 million Delta Jackpot Stakes in 2004, Urban King placed in several stakes in 2003, Burning Sun was stakes-placed last year, and Super Strut has run in several California-bred stakes.

Trainer Bobby Frankel starts Burning Sun and Urban King. Urban King was promoted from second to first in an optional claimer at 1 1/8 miles on turf here last October, his most recent start. He has run well at Santa Anita throughout his career.

was last of nine in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Handicap on Jan. 1 over a good turf course that some starters did not handle.

From a pace perspective, Texcess is an interesting prospect. Trained by Paul Aguirre, the front-running Texcess is winless in eight starts since the Delta Jackpot. In his only start on turf, he finished fifth in the Will Rogers Stakes last May.

Osidy needs a fast pace to aid his closing kick. Last year, he frequently raced several lengths off the pace before launching rallies that put him close.