02/23/2008 12:00AM

Warning Zone drops down after Strub

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Monday's seventh race at Santa Anita, an optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles, is a far cry from glamour races such as the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap or $300,000 Frank Kilroe Mile next Saturday.

The optional claimer is also the most sensible spot for trainer John Sadler to run Warning Zone. After finishing unplaced in three consecutive stakes, including a fifth in the Strub Stakes on Feb. 2 in his 2008 debut, Warning Zone will face an easier field in the optional claimer, which features a healthy purse of $63,000.

Sadler considers the race a confidence-booster for Warning Zone, who won the War Chant Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park last November.

"I think this is a better spot," Sadler said. "This is his condition."

Owned by Rising Sun Racing Stable, Warning Zone is seeking his first career win on the main track. He beat maidens on turf at Del Mar in August 2006 and the Grade 3 Generous Stakes in November 2006.

The seven-length loss in the Strub was Warning Zone's only start on a synthetic track. "He ran a good race the other day," Sadler said. "I think he'll be one of the favorites" on Monday.

Warning Zone has five rivals, including Giant Gizmo, who was sixth in the Strub Stakes in his stakes debut. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Giant Gizmo won an allowance race at a mile here by three lengths on Dec. 30.

Slew's Tizzy, the winner of the Lexington Stakes and Lone Star Derby last spring, makes his first start for Doug O'Neill. Seventh in the Strub, Slew's Tizzy is winless in his last eight starts.

In Monday's fifth race, an allowance race on the hillside turf course, Within Reason, the winner of the 2005 Sunny Slope Stakes, returns from a 22-month layoff. Trained and co-owned by Brian Koriner, Within Reason, 5, is running in an allowance race one level above his eligibility. The tougher race is necessary to give Within Reason a start, Koriner said.

"I wanted to run him," Koriner said. "It's been so long. He had a little knee deal going on. When we got him back up, he hurt his shoulder. I want to get a race into him and go from there."

Within Reason, who has ample speed, must beat Hewitts, who has drawn the rail and has won three straight starts for Bob Hess Jr.