01/26/2009 1:00AM

Talkin to Mom Roo can do


ARCADIA, Calif. - California sprinters could use a little help. Midnight Lute and Street Boss are retired. Cost of Freedom, Bob Black Jack, and Fatal Bullet are sidelined.

The remainder of the sprint division is spread thin this weekend in competing six-furlong stakes at Santa Anita. The $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint on Saturday pulled from the same pool as the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap on Sunday.

The time is right for a sharp allowance horse to win a stakes, and none is sharper Sunday than Talkin to Mom Roo. He heads an eight-horse field entered in the $150,000 Palos Verdes. Palos Verdes entrant Machismo was expected to run Saturday in the Sunshine Millions. Big Bad Leroybrown and Devoted Magic also entered both stakes.

Talkin to Mom Roo will try to emulate successful claims by owner Jeffrey Sengara and trainers Ted H. West and father Ted West. Their claim-to-stakes winners include Budroyale, Bluesthestandard, Stella Mark, and Turkish Prize. But when they took Talkin to Mom Roo last March for $40,000, he required six months off with a stress fracture in his shoulder.

He returned Sept. 7 at Fairplex Park in an allowance/optional claimer and ran wild. Talkin to Mom Roo won the six-furlong race in a quick 1:09.16 (the track record is 1:08.62), and earned a 107 Beyer, which is the highest recorded in a Fairplex sprint.

"What he did that day was an eye-opener," the senior West said. It suggested Sengara had again struck pay dirt in the claiming ranks. But a month later at Santa Anita, Talkin to Mom Roo was flat in an allowance. He finished second, and his Beyer tumbled to 93.

"He bounced - he almost had to bounce," West said. "He's a big, powerful guy, but he's deceivingly delicate. It takes him a while to recover from a race because he shoves in all his chips every time."

Talkin to Mom Roo was given 57 days to his next start, and finished a sharp second behind perfect-trip winner Gayego. Talkin to Mom Roo got stuck inside without a clean run. Switch trips, and he may have defeated Gayego.

As for the Palos Verdes, West said, "This was the target; it's perfect timing for him."

Clinton Potts rides the 4-for-15 gelding. Talkin to Mom Roo should get a good trip setting or pressing the pace.

Other starters include Johnny Eves, who bled last out, plus Principle Secret, Six Pack Abs, and Halo Najib.