10/16/2009 12:00AM

Tribesman looks to rebound

Vassar Photography
Trainer Roger Hansen can't explain Tribesman's loss in his last race.

Tribesman and Dance With Gable may be coming off disappointing efforts, but they still bring solid credentials into Sunday's $50,000 Bull Dog as the Big Fresno Fair concludes its two-week meeting.

Multiple stakes winner Tribesman, fourth as the odds-on favorite in the California State Fair Sprint, and Dance With Gable, who won that race in his first start off a claim before running last in the Governor's Cup Handicap at Fairplex, are worth long looks off their best efforts.

The question, of course, is whether they are set for their best.

They will need their best in the Bull Dog, which has been shortened to six furlongs.

Lined up against them in the field of 10 are multiple stakes winners High Standards, a Harris Farms homebred who has a Grade 3 victory to his credit, and Wild Cycle. Also in the field are stakes-placed Candy Pull, Jack Hes Tops, and Victory Kid. Junior Brown, Raingear and Friendly Half round out the lineup.

Trainer Roger Hansen still cannot explain Tribesman's fourth-place finish when beaten nine lengths at Sacramento on Aug. 29, but trainer Mike Machowsky knows why Dance With Gable ran last at Fairplex on Sept. 23.

Tribesman was bidding for a repeat in the State Fair Sprint, but the speedster never got the lead as comebacking Frumious cut suicidal fractions.

"We never could find a thing wrong with him," Hansen said. "We're going into this race like he's as good as he was before the race in Sacramento."

That was pretty good as Tribesman carried a four-race win streak, including three stakes victories, into that race.

Perhaps Tribesman can only win on the lead, but at Sacramento he sat third early, seemingly rating perfectly behind Frumious and Dance With Gable.

Jockey Russell Baze may gun early Sunday, and he does have the advantage of being drawn outside of Dance With Gable, who had not shown Tribesman's quickness before the State Fair Sprint.

Tribesman sharpened his speed with a pair of five-furlong bullet works in preparation for Sunday.

Machowsky said Dance With Gable "blew the first turn" in the 6 1/2-furlong Governor's Cup and never had a chance after that.

"He's really doing good, and he looks good," Machowsky said.

Machowsky said he's also considering the California Sky Stakes at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet, a 6 1/2-furlong stakes for Cal-breds down Santa Anita's hillside turf course on Oct. 25, but might even consider running in both races.

High Standards, drawn outside both Dance With Gable and Tribesman, has good speed but could get a perfect trip drafting behind those two in a stalking position.