01/13/2010 12:00AM

Tres Borrachos drops in as the speed


ARCADIA, Calif. - Tres Borrachos has been aimed high throughout his career, having made 5 of his last 12 starts in Grade 1 company. And though he has run some terrific races, such as a second-place finish in last summer's Hollywood Gold Cup, he owns just 3 wins in 22 starts, has won just once in his last 12 outings, and is winless in five starts since last May.


A dip into a money-allowance race on Thursday at Santa Anita offers him a chance to get back to the winner's circle. And though the featured seventh race came up quite strong for the level, Tres Borrachos maintains an advantage through a handicapping factor that remains evergreen: He is the only speed in the six-horse field.

Not only that, but the rails on the turf course are scheduled to be out 30 feet on Thursday, a scenario that usually favors front-runners. At a mile, Tres Borrachos certainly looks like the one to catch, and perhaps beat.

"Fortunately it didn't come up with a lot of pace," Beau Greely, the trainer and co-owner of Tres Borrachos, said Tuesday morning. "But that doesn't mean someone won't go with him."

Thursday's race, worth $56,000, will be only the third time Tres Borrachos has raced on turf. His two prior starts were not bad. He finished seventh of 14 in the 2008 Oak Tree Derby after battling on a contested pace, then this past November finished third to the promising Loup Breton in a money-allowance on the Hollywood Park turf. Loup Breton subsequently finished second to Proudinsky in the San Gabriel Handicap.

"I thought that was a good race," Greely said. "The horse that won is a pretty nice horse. The turf shouldn't bother him. He just doesn't seem to like the main track at Santa Anita. So it's either run him on turf, or just wait for Hollywood Park. I might as well run him on the weeds."

Monzante, the 2008 Eddie Read winner, will be one of the top choices in the race. He too is taking a drop in class after three straight races in Grade 1 company.

Red Alert Day is being wheeled back in 14 days after beating a second-level allowance field here. Both he and Yorktown, who had a rough trip in his local debut last November at Hollywood Park, should be closest to Tres Borrachos in the early going, though neither appears to have the speed to keep up with Tres Borrachos if he is turned loose.