02/19/2011 2:10PM

Training lull at Santa Anita gives time to reflect

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Main-track training was canceled at Santa Anita on Saturday morning, a casualty of rain that fell from Friday afternoon until the early hours of Saturday. A quiet morning gave trainers a chance to reflect on leading horses who worked on Friday, and plans for them in coming weeks.

Caracortado, who won his first stakes on turf in the Sunshine Millions Turf on Jan. 29, worked six furlongs in 1:11.80, the fastest of 36 recorded works at the distance. The workout left trainer Mike Machowsky confident that Caracortado can play a major role in the $300,000 Frank Kilroe Mile on turf on March 5, with the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on the main track on the same day as a backup plan.

“I’m 90 percent for the Kilroe,” Machowsky said on Saturday. “This was an important work yesterday. I wanted to get that out of the way.”

Caracortado will face a tough field in the Kilroe, which is expected to include Sidney’s Candy, the winner of the Sir Beaufort Stakes in December; Fluke, who won the Thunder Road Handicap on Feb. 6; the multiple stakes winners Acclimation and The Usual Q.T., and Jeranimo, who won the Grade 2 San Gabriel Handicap on Dec. 27.

Twirling Candy to face Team Baffert

The Big Cap field is led by Twirling Candy, the emphatic winner of the Strub Stakes on Feb. 5, his second stakes win of the meeting. Twirling Candy was scheduled to work on Sunday or Monday, depending on the condition of the main track, trainer John Sadler said.

Twirling Candy is expected to face stablemate Gladding, who won the San Antonio Stakes on Feb. 6, and as many as three runners trained by Bob Baffert – Tweebster, Game on Dude, and Spurrier. Other candidates are Aggie Engineer, and Make Music For Me.

Baffert said that recent arrival First Dude, who placed in six major stakes for 3-year-olds last year for trainer Dale Romans, is unlikely for the Big Cap. First Dude worked five furlongs in 59.60 seconds on Saturday, the fastest of 101 recorded works at the distance.

“He cruised around there, “ Baffert said. “We’re getting to know him. He came here in great shape.”

Jockeys in hoops benefit

For the 44th year, a group of Southern California jockeys will participate in a charity basketball game vs. the 8th grade team from nearby Holy Angels School on Thursday evening.

Led by veteran David Flores, the team captain, the jockey’s team is expected to include Paul Atkinson, leading rider Rafael Bejarano, Brice Blanc, Martin Garcia, Kerwin John, Corey Nakatani, Kayla Stra, and Joe Talamo, among others.

The event benefits the Holy Angels athletic department and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Tickets are tickets are $5 for the 7 p.m. game, which will be held at La Salle High School in Pasadena. In addition to the game, hall of fame jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Don Pierce, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Gary Stevens and Mike Smith will sign autographs from 6 to 7 p.m.

◗ Jockey Alex Jimenez escaped injury when his mount in Friday’s second race, Amazable, broke down on the turn of a five-furlong maiden race for $20,000 claimers. Amazamble, 4, was euthanized as a result of injuries, according to track officials.