ARCADIA, Calif. -- For the second consecutive year, the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita is a pivotal race for Siren Lure.
Last year, he entered the race on a three-race winning streak, but could only finish third. He rebounded to win three consecutive graded stakes on dirt.
For Saturday's running of the Grade 3 San Simeon, contested at 6o1/2 furlongs on turf, Siren Lure will be seeking to end a three-race losing streak. The losses include an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint last November and a seventh in the Grade 2 San Carlos Handicap in February, his only start this year.
The San Carlos convinced trainer Art Sherman that the 6-year-old Siren Lure was not at his best. He had sustained a splint bone injury during the winter, and was not fully recovered, Sherman said.
"I didn't have it completely healed," Sherman said. "I think it got to stinging him a bit. Now that we have had a chance to back off, he's been training outstanding.
"I just don't think he was at his peak. I knew it would be tough with some nice horses in there. There are not a whole lot of spots to run him, and I thought it would give me a chance to give him a race. I knew right away that he wouldn't run his race on the backstretch. I think you'll see a different horse this Saturday."
Siren Lure has won 12 of 23 starts and $789,909. He has won three stakes in turf and four on dirt. On the Santa Anita turf, he has won 3 of 5 starts, with all of the wins coming on the hillside turf course.
"I think he likes Santa Anita," Sherman said.
Siren Lure is best as a closer, but has run near the front in some of his wins. There is no clear front-runner in the field, but Bonfante, a six-time stakes winner in Northern California, has shown speed.
Get Funky, the winner of the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, is making his third start of 2007, having won an allowance race on the hillside turf course on March 24, his first race on the course.
Get Funky will be ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr. Trained by John Sadler, Get Funky has a stalking style that may allow him to have first jump on Siren Lure.
"When he ran so well down the hill, Jose thought he was a natural," Sadler said.