03/02/2005 12:00AM

Turf closers might get ideal setup


ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Paddy Gallagher grimaced when he learned that All the Boys was entered in a $56,000 optional claimer at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita on Friday.

Gallagher trains Skywalker Red, a front-runner who could face a stern challenge from All the Boys, who displays the same tactics. A speed duel will not do either horse any good over a long distance.

"My horse is kind of one-dimensional," Gallagher said.

, 5, won an allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Hollywood Park on Nov. 28. In his most recent start, Skywalker Red finished 10th in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf for California-breds and Florida-breds here on Jan. 29.

Skywalker Red never made his customary lead and faded in the final furlong.

"It was too soft and he couldn't get the lead," Gallagher said. "There were some nice horses in that race."

was claimed by Bob Bone and trainer Jeff Mullins for $50,000 on Feb. 3, the day the 8-year-old gelding led throughout a claiming race at 1 1/8 miles. Of the two front-runners, All the Boys is better suited for a longer trip. He was second in the Grade 1 San Juan Capistrano Invitational at about 1 3/4 miles on turf in 2003.

Last year, All the Boys won 2 of 7 starts - an optional claimer at 1 1/4 miles on turf in February and a one-mile allowance race on turf here on Dec. 26.

If those two take each other out of contention, Anzari, Sublet, and Unrivalled may be ideally placed.

is a closer who needs a fast pace to have any chance. He was third behind All the Boys in the claimer on Feb. 3. An 8-year-old, Anzari is attempting to end a 13-race losing streak dating back to 2000.

Sublet joined trainer Ron McAnally's stable last fall. He stumbled at the start of a one-mile allowance race on turf on Jan. 17, but rebounded to score a four-length win in an allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Feb. 6. In that race, jockey David Flores held up Sublet until the final half-mile before swooping around the field on the final turn.

Unrivalled will have a similar late-running trip. Trained by Jim Cassidy, he rallied from eighth to finish fourth in an optional claimer at 1 1/8 miles on turf on Jan. 29, chasing a slow pace for the first six furlongs. Unrivalled could be a decent price on Friday.