ARCADIA, Calif. -- Supah Blitz can revive his fading reputation when he is fitted with blinkers for the first time since July in Saturday's $100,000 Tokyo City Handicap at Santa Anita.
A stakes winner at Calder and Del Mar last year, Supah Blitz has lost three consecutive races, leaving trainer Doug O'Neill and the partners who own the 5-year-old horse at a loss for excuses.
The losing streak includes fifth-place finishes in the Native Diver Handicap and Sunshine Millions Classic and a last-place finish in the Santa Anita Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on March 5. Supah Blitz was a longshot in the Big Cap, and finished 17 3/4 lengths behind Rock Hard Ten.
The Tokyo City, formerly known as the San Bernardino, has a weak field. The 1 1/8-mile race drew six entrants.
"You won't have the Rock Hard Tens in there," O'Neill said. "I think the cutback in distance will help."
O'Neill said Supah Blitz has been erratic since the Native Diver, which was preceded by a win in the Carl Rose Handicap at Calder in November. In hindsight, O'Neill is convinced that Supah Blitz was unprepared for the Native Diver.
"I think I ran him back a little quick," O'Neill said. "We thought we could run him at 80 to 90 percent. He lost his edge a little bit."
Supah Blitz worked a quick six furlongs in 1:11.20 at Hollywood Park last Saturday, which O'Neill said was by design.
"I worked him a little stiffer," O'Neill said. "We have a couple of solid works in him."
The Tokyo City will mark Supah Blitz's first start with blinkers since he finished third in the Carpenter Memorial Handicap at Delaware Park last summer. He was sold to his current owners in August.
Supah Blitz is best as a stalker and should have pacesetters to follow in stablemate Jake Skate and Ender's Shadow. He must hold off the closer Outta Here, who won an allowance race on Jan. 13.
Jake Skate, the winner of the Lafayette Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 1, is the 117-pound starting highweight. He carries one pound more than Supah Blitz.
Jake Skate was second in the Grade 3 Seabiscuit Breeders' Cup Handicap at Bay Meadows in February and fourth in the March Madness Stakes at a mile on turf here on March 26.
Ender's Shadow has made three starts this year, including a third in the March 13 Santana Mile Handicap.