Masochistic, who has not raced since May, was withdrawn from Saturday's Grade 3 Midnight Lute Stakes at Santa Anita in favor of the $150,000 California Cup Sprint for state-breds on Jan. 27, trainer Bob Baffert said on Saturday morning.
"There's a race at the end of the January," he said. "We'll aim for that. I don't think he's quite ready.
"The track is quite demanding. It takes a little longer to get them ready."
Masochistic has won 8 of 16 starts and $857,550. He was previously trained by Ron Ellis and joined Baffert's stable in the fall. Masochistic finished second in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, but was disqualified after showing the presence of a steroid in a post-race test.
Ellis was fined $10,000 and begins a 60-day suspension on Monday for the positive.