05/05/2010 11:00PM

Tamarack Smarty searches for better luck


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Tamarack Smarty has had no luck in daytime at Santa Anita. Perhaps his fortunes will change under the lights at Hollywood Park.

First post Friday is 7:05 p.m., and Tamarack Smarty is among the favorites in the race 5 feature, a first-level allowance at a mile on turf. Tamarack Smarty is due for a good trip.

"He's been unlucky the last two times," trainer Mike Puype said. It was a flagrant understatement.

Tamarack Smarty was badly blocked through the stretch twice at Santa Anita - a runner-up effort March 17 and a fifth by 1 1/4 lengths on April 11.

"I think both races he could have won," Puype said.

The misfortune began at the draw.

"He started from impossible posts," Puype said, referring to 10 of 11 and 9 of 9. Both races were one mile on grass, and both times jockey Joe Talamo had no choice but grab, tuck, and weave through traffic late.

"You end up spotting the field three to four lengths at the start," Puype said. "They weren't bad rides, just bad circumstances."

Tamarack Smarty and Talamo begin Friday with no disadvantage. Tamarack Smarty, who is 2 for 8, breaks from post 2.

Meanwhile, no horse is more compromised by post than Bring It Home, whose three starts since being gelded produced two thirds and a second. Martin Garcia rides Bring It Home, who might be the horse to beat, despite starting from post 9 of 9.

Paco Gonzalez trains Bring It Home, whose disadvantageous post might not be such a bad thing. That is because the pace scenario is favorable to the closing style of Bring It Home. A stalker, Bring It Home and closers Tamarack Smarty and Worth Repeating benefit from the likelihood of a hot pace.

Back At You, Rummysecret War, and Turf Paradise shipper Living Word are pure speed. None have shown the recent ability to rate, and if the pace unfolds as expected then those three will set the table for a closer. Other starters include My King, Rogue River, and El Martillo.

* In race 4, an interesting field of maiden fillies and mares race six furlongs on turf. The new shooters include Love That Melody, the first foal out of stakes winner Valentine Dancer. Sired by Storm Cat, Love That Melody has a series of fast works for fast-working trainer Kathy Walsh. She faces last-start runner-up So Nice.