06/15/2008 11:00PM

Two Step Salsa at rest - for now


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Two Step Salsa is a racehorse, not a machine. And on Monday morning, one day after the colt's impressive victory in the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap, trainer Julio Canani said it is premature to add Two Step Salsa to a list of probable starters for the Grade 2, $350,000 Swaps Stakes for 3-year-olds on July 12.

"He ran hard, he didn't finish his feed [Sunday night], and he's been lying down all morning," Canani said. "He already has run three times here, and how many horses can do that? Look what happened to Big Brown."

Two Step Salsa was running for the third time in seven weeks and making his first attempt around two turns when he led wire to wire in the Affirmed. He won the 1 1/16-mile race the hard way, by setting solid fractions - 46.61 and 1:11.13 with a final time of 1:41.57. It was the fourth-fastest time of the meet, and would make Two Step Salsa one of the favorites against Colonel John and Madeo in the 1 1/8-mile Swaps Stakes.

"That race is 27 days [from the Affirmed], and I'll play it by ear," Canani said. "I like to see how they come back, how they rebound. Right now, he's resting."

Heatseeker zeroes in on Gold Cup

Heatseeker continued his march toward favoritism in the June 28 Hollywood Gold Cup by working a stellar seven furlongs Monday morning under jockey Rafael Bejarano. Heatseeker worked by himself at 8:30, and was timed in 1:23.20 by track clockers. As he walked off the track, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer asked Bejarano, "How'd he go, jock?"

Bejarano replied with a simple and enthusiastic, "Whew!"

Hollendorfer caught Heatseeker galloping out a mile in 1:37.72, and said he would breeze once more before the Gold Cup.

"Rafael does a good job breezing this horse, and he is just breezing, too," Hollendorfer said.

Heatseeker won the Grade 2 Californian by 5 1/4 lengths in his most recent start, May 31, and Hollendorfer said he continues to thrive while training over the Cushion Track at Hollywood.

"This morning, he was on his toes, because he knew he was going to do something," he said. "He knew he was going to work."

Heatseeker is expected to be the solid favorite in a field numbering from seven to nine starters. Tiago, Big Booster, Surf Cat, Racketeer, McCann's Mojave, and Perfect Drift are expected to run. The Gold Cup status of Student Council is unclear.

Lava Man would be seeking his fourth consecutive Gold Cup victory, but trainer Doug O'Neill hinted Monday that he was not a confirmed starter. O'Neill cited the 21-day spacing from Lava Man's most recent start - third on turf in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham - as less than ideal for the 7-year-old Lava Man.

"Timing-wise, it isn't perfect, and we don't want to run him just to run him," O'Neill said. "If we do end up running in the Gold Cup, he'll probably gallop right into the race [without a workout]."

O'Neill said the tentative plan remains to start Lava Man in the Gold Cup.

Odds rise on High Standards before win

High Standards had something to prove Friday at Hollywood Park. Given no respect by bettors who allowed him to drift from 3-1 on the program to close at 6-1, the gelding proceeded to run the fastest race of his career and lead start to finish in the $75,160 King Glorious Stakes. High Standards returned $14 and earned a career-high 103 Beyer Speed Figure, winning the 6 1/2-furlong race in a quick 1:14.53 under Joel Rosario.

"I don't know what that was all about," trainer Marty Jones said, referring to the overlaid odds. "He loves this racetrack, and he ran so well" when he was third in the Grade 3, six-furlong Los Angeles Handicap. "For whatever reason, that didn't impress people."

High Standards outran stretch-running favorite El Manuel by 1 1/2 lengths in the King Glorious, winning for the sixth time in 16 starts. Owned and bred by John Harris, High Standards has a history of upsets. He paid $28.80 in his debut, $16.60 in the Grade 3 Baldwin Stakes, and $39 in his comeback in December. In his next start, High Standards will have another chance to outrun his price, as Jones expects him to be invited to the Grade 1, seven-furlong Triple Bend on July 5.

Glitter City sets track record

The 2-year-old filly Glitter City ($14) earned an outstanding 93 Beyer Figure on Sunday, winning a five-furlong race for trainer Jeff Mullins by two lengths in a track-record 56.74. Glitter City, who finished second in her debut at odds of 8-5, improved 30 points on Sunday, and outran first-time starters Emmy Darling (second) and odds-on favorite Gabby's Golden Girl (third), who debuted with a string of bullet workouts for trainer Ron McAnally.

The win by Glitter City was the first of three on the card for Mullins. He also won race 4 with Pathbreaking ($18.80) and race 7 with Foul Play ($14). Mullins and John Sadler each have 14 wins at the meet, three behind meet leader O'Neill.

* Thor's Echo, the 2006 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner who finished fourth in his June 7 comeback at Belmont Park in the Grade 2 True North, will aim for the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap on July 27 at Del Mar, according to his trainer, O'Neill.

* A small field is expected Saturday in the Grade 3 Cinema Handicap for 3-year-olds. The 1 1/8-mile grass race is expected to draw Grade 3 Will Rogers winner Polonious, Liberian Freighter, Tiz West, and Robscarvic. Cinema nominee Indian Sun is sidelined.

* Michael Baze worked Romance Is Diane three furlongs Monday morning for trainer Mike Mitchell, who plans to shorten her up to a sprint for the Grade 2 A Gleam on June 28. In the seven-furlong A Gleam, Romance Is Diane will face Intangaroo, whose form was flattered over the weekend when Hystericalady crushed her foes at Churchill Downs. Intangaroo defeated Hystericalady in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff on May 3.