02/03/2010 1:00AM

Tamborim should like longer route


ARCADIA, Calif. - Tamborim finally starts in a race that suits his needs on Thursday at Santa Anita - an optional claimer over 1 1/4 miles.

The first-level optional $40,000 claimer on the main track can showcase Tamborim's ability at a distance. He has occasionally finished well, but failed to win over a mile and 1 1/8 miles in his last five starts.

"This is what he wants," David Hofmans said of Thursday's distance. "I like the way the horse is going and the way he likes this track. He's doing awesome."

Owned by Tarabilla Farms, Tamborim has won 3 of 13 starts, including two stakes for Florida-breds in 2008 and 2009 when trained by Bill Mott. By Belong to Me, Tamborim joined Hofmans's stable last summer, and is winless in four starts in California. His best race in California was a third in the Windy Sands Handicap over a mile at Del Mar on Sept. 5.

In his only start at this meeting, Tamborim finished fifth in the Grade 3 Sir Beaufort Stakes over a mile on turf on Dec. 26, closing from last in a field of nine to finish 2 1/2 lengths behind The Usual Q.T.

The race has drawn a field of eight, and only Pat's Legacy, victorious in a $12,500 claimer here last October, is coming off a win.

The race will be Mr. Hot Stuff's first start over the distance since a 15th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby last May. Nominated for Saturday's Grade 2 Strub Stakes, Mr. Hot Stuff is winless in his last 10 starts, and was sixth in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes here on Jan. 16.

In Thursday's second race, Ellafitz and Harissa, third and fourth in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes on Jan. 10, are among five 3-year-old fillies in an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles. Harissa, trained by Hofmans, made her debut against winners in the Santa Ysabel, finishing 4 1/2 lengths behind Crisp, who is being pointed for Saturday's Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes.

Thursday's race also includes the impressive maiden race winner Cozi Rosie, a Las Virgenes nominee; Paleo, who was fifth in the Sweet Life Stakes last month; and Fair Chase, the winner of a maiden claimer over six furlongs.