03/26/2007 11:00PM

Ward sends out another fast 2-year-old


ARCADIA, Calif. - The Santa Anita smorgasbord Thursday ranges from two furlongs on dirt to nine furlongs on grass, and starts with the shortest race of the day.

Trainer Wesley Ward and assistant Blake Heap have dominated 2-year-old racing here, and they try for another win Thursday with Levin Levon in race 1. Ward won both juvenile races last week; even-money Destiny Dreamer was scheduled for race 1 Wednesday.

Heap said Levin Levon "is way the quickest" of the stable's 2-year-olds. Ward's regular rider, Martin Pedroza, is named on Levin Levon in what appears to be a competitive race.

The word is out on Sea of Pleasure, a fast-working Sea of Secrets colt trained by Shane Chipman. He will be ridden by Michael Baze. First-time starters Siphon the Kitty and Wise Mandate also have posted bullet works, which is the only thing Levin Levon lacks.

"His works are slow because he's so fast from the gate," Heap said. The implication is that Levin Levon figures to open up early. Ward and Heap will start one more unraced 2-year-old next week - the Decarchy filly Miss Maisy.

Race 3 on Thursday is a second-level turf allowance for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, and four of the seven starters are logical contenders. Red State Rules looked hopelessly blocked into the stretch of her California debut on Feb. 24, but found a seam in the first-level allowance and blasted her final quarter-mile in about 23 seconds to win by a half-length.

Mabadi also moves up in class after a first-level allowance win on Feb. 14. She rallied from behind a slow pace to score by a length. Seasons will set the pace in race 3, and with the rails at 30 feet, she has a chance to steal it.

However, the horse to beat may be Fantastic New Way. She had not been out in nine months when she returned in a second-level allowance won by Naughty Rafaela. Fantastic New Way benefits from the shorter distance Thursday, and should improve with a race under her belt. Jeff Mullins trains the 2-for-5 filly; Victor Espinoza rides.

In race 7, Tioga Junction will try to race wire to wire in a first-level allowance at a mile on dirt. A 5-year-old gelding, Tioga Junction won a fast-paced Cal-bred allowance Feb. 8. His main rival is Tice, a 1-for-11 gelding who has not quite lived up to his pedigree. He was sired by A.P. Indy, and produced by Silverbulletday.