01/22/2009 12:00AM

Two spots for Devoted Magic


ARCADIA, Calif. - Devoted Magic is running this weekend at Santa Anita. That much is certain.

What is unclear is whether the 5-year-old gelding will run in Saturday's $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint or Sunday's $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap. Trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer had yet to make up his mind Thursday.

"I don't have an answer," he said.

Hollendorfer said he may wait until Saturday morning to decide the race in which Devoted Magic will make his stakes debut.

Both races are over six furlongs. The Sunshine Millions, restricted to California-breds and Florida-breds, includes the Grade 1 winners Georgie Boy and In Summation, and the improving Machismo.

The Grade 2 Palos Verdes field includes the Grade 1 winner Johnny Eves and the promising Talkin to Mom Roo. Machismo also is entered, but is expected to run Saturday.

Neither race was on Hollendorfer's mind when he claimed Devoted Magic for $32,000 at Hollywood Park on Nov. 29. On that day, Devoted Magic finished fifth in a six-furlong turf race, having won his two preceding starts, in a $10,000 claimer and $32,000 claimer.

"The reason why I claimed him was I thought he was a horse that was moving up the ladder," Hollendorfer said. "Sometimes I like to take a chance on horses like that."

The chance paid off quickly. In his debut for Hollendorfer and co-owner George Todaro, Devoted Magic won a $50,000 allowance race for California-bred sprinters by 6 3/4 lengths at Santa Anita on Jan. 7. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 105, the first time he had reached triple digits in a nine-race career that includes four wins and earnings of $71,940.

"We understand we're taking a giant step up," Hollendorfer said. "It's just that he ran so well and had such a high number, we thought we'd gamble a little bit."

Now if he could just decide on a race.

Bad luck continues for Magical Fantasy

The post position draw for Sunday's $100,000 Tuzla Stakes does not favor Magical Fantasy. She will start from the outside post in a field of 14 in a one-mile turf race that has a short run to the first turn.

This fits with Magical Fantasy's campaign. Little has gone Magical Fantasy's way in recent starts.

After pulling a 42-1 upset in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks last August, Magical Fantasy made two more starts in 2008, finishing a troubled sixth in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland in October and a troubled fourth in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 30.

With a little luck, she could have been in the top three in either race. In the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup, Magical Fantasy was last of 11 on the backstretch and closed to within 4 1/2 lengths of upset winner Alwajeeha. Magical Fantasy was beaten a half-length for third.

"She had a rough trip," trainer Paddy Gallagher said.

In the Matriarch, Magical Fantasy raced in traffic on the turn and finished three-quarters of a length behind third-place finisher Visit.

"If she can run back to that race in the Matriarch or the Del Mar Oaks, those are good races," Gallagher said.

Magical Fantasy does not face the same level of competition in the Tuzla as she did in the Matriarch, which was won by Eclipse Award finalist Cocoa Beach over 2007 Matriarch winner Precious Kitten.

It will be up to regular rider Alex Solis to guide Magical Fantasy through traffic in the Tuzla. Magical Fantasy is the only Grade 1 winner in a field that includes Foxysox, winner of the Grade 2 Beverly Hills Handicap here last year.

At the least, Gallagher can take comfort knowing that Magical Fantasy is a filly that can rally from well off the pace and loves the distance.

"I think she's pretty good at a mile to a mile and an eighth," he said.

Lava Man half-brother makes debut

Enriched, a half-brother to the legendary California-bred Lava Man, makes his career debut in Saturday's first race at Santa Anita, a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs for older horses.

Owned and bred by Carol Lingenfelter, Enriched is trained by Craig Dollase. Enriched has worked quickly at Hollywood Park, including six furlongs in 1:12 on Jan. 13, the fastest of nine works at the distance.

Ideally, Enriched would have started his career earlier than Saturday, but Dollase said that an injury postponed his debut.

"He's trained pretty well at Hollywood Park," Dollase said. "We'll run him with blinkers, like Lava Man. He had some issues along the way. It looks like he's got a little talent. He looks like he'll be a two-turn horse, with his build and pedigree."

Lava Man was retired last summer after a six-year career that included 17 wins in 46 starts and earnings of $5,268,706. Claimed for $50,000 in August 2004, he later won seven Grade 1 races.

Enriched is part of a seven-horse field. Trainer Bob Baffert has the favorite in Deep Pockets, who makes his fourth start. Deep Pockets was second by a half-length in a six-furlong maiden race for statebreds here Dec. 28.

Robert Lewis Stakes coming up strong

The $200,000 Robert Lewis Stakes on Feb. 7 is expected to draw a strong field of 3-year-old males.

Pioneerof the Nile, I Want Revenge, and Bittel Road, the first-, second-, and fourth-place finishers in the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 20, are probable starters.

Chocolate Candy, third in the CashCall Futurity, won the California Derby at Golden Gate Fields last weekend. He is not likely to start again in Southern California until the Santa Anita Derby on April 4, said his trainer, Hollendorfer.

* First post for Saturday's 11-race Sunshine Millions program is 11:45 a.m. Pacific. The first of the four Sunshine Millions races at Santa Anita, the $500,000 Turf, is the sixth race, the first leg of the pick six.