10/18/2007 11:00PM

Whatever Whenever up and down

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - A return to a Cushion Track synthetic surface in Sunday's $75,000 Jack Goodman Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting may help Whatever Whenever regain his best form.

After finishing third in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship on Cushion Track in July and winning the Cavonnier Juvenile on a conventional dirt track at the Sonoma County Fair in August, Whatever Whenever regressed. He finished last of 13 in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity on Polytrack on Sept. 5 and was fifth in the Harvest Futurity at the Big Fresno Fair on conventional dirt on Oct. 12.

A quick turnaround to Sunday's race over six furlongs for 2-year-olds does not concern trainer Peter Miller.

"The race at Del Mar, he did not handle the track," Miller said. "At Fresno, they had a fast track but it was very slick. He got the lead and got a little tired in the last sixteenth. I'm hoping with the track at Santa Anita he can hang on a little better."

Owned by Gerson Racing, Whatever Whenever will play a prominent role in the Goodman. The only stakes winner in the field, Whatever Whenever is expected to lead from the start under jockey Victor Espinoza.

Miller also starts D. Double You, who is unbeaten in two starts and is making his stakes debut. Trainer Doug O'Neill starts Gone Grand, the winner of a six-furlong maiden race here on Sept. 30 in his third start. Gone Grand will be ridden by Tyler Baze, who led the jockey standings at the Oak Tree meeting through Thursday.

While four of the other starters have stakes experience, not all of them have run well in those races. Wise Mandate is unplaced in four stakes, Drewthegentleman was unplaced in two graded stakes, and Remember Boffi was fourth in his lone stakes appearance, the Willard Proctor Stakes at Hollywood Park back in May.

The race has two maidens, including Guns on the Table, who was second in the Barretts Juvenile Stakes at Fairplex Park on Sept. 16. Trained by Bob Baffert, Guns on the Table fought for the lead in that race, but faded in the final furlong. He wears blinkers on Sunday, having also worn them when third in a maiden race at Del Mar on Aug. 25.

"When he made the lead, he stopped," Baffert said of the Fairplex Park race. "I took the blinkers off and I should have left them on. I've always had high hopes for the horse."