A couple of colts coming off layoffs
inserted their names into the early Kentucky Derby picture with a
1-2 finish in the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes.
Georgie Boy returned from a five-month vacation to win by 3¼
lengths Sunday over Into Mischief.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Georgie Boy covered 7 furlongs in
1:20.01 and paid $7.80 and $3.20.
Into Mischief returned $2.60 as the 7-5 wagering favorite.
Massive Drama was another length back in third and Red Hot Flame
Georgie Boy had been idle since winning the Del Mar Futurity on
Sept. 5. Trainer Kathy Walsh said nothing was wrong with the colt,
she just wanted to freshen him up.
"He was a little upset today. He was a little rank the first
quarter-mile, then he settled," said Walsh, a 67-year-old whose
only other Kentucky Derby starter finished seventh in 1998. "He
seems to always run better from off the pace."
Georgie Boy has been stabled across town at Hollywood Park, so
his training wasn't subjected to the repeated cancellations at
Santa Anita because of rain.
The colt is owned and bred by George Schwary, a 75-year-old
retired appliance dealer from nearby San Fernando whose wife named
Both Walsh and Schwary weren't rushing to jump on the Kentucky
"We got to take our steps one at a time," she said. "Let's
not get going too fast."
Schwary added, "I don't want to jinx myself, but this is my
Trained by Richard Mandella, Into Mischief also was coming off a
break, not having run since winning the CashCall Futurity at
Hollywood Park on Dec. 22. But he's been housed at Santa Anita,
where his training routine was inconsistent.
"It was a good start back," Mandella said. "Kathy Walsh's
horse ran fabulous, but mine ran real good. I was lucky to get him
to the races with what we had, but we got through that and at least
we're still in the game."
Massive Drama led most of the way, then Into Mischief hooked up
with him going into the stretch turn. But Georgie Boy came flying
down the middle of the track and overhauled both of his rivals.
"We were trying to steal away and Into Mischief wouldn't let
us," said Bob Baffert, who trains Massive Drama. "The winner
looked pretty good."
It was Massive Drama's last race out of Baffert's stable. Owner
Ahmed Zayat has told Baffert he will be moving the colt and three
others to Steve Asmussen and/or Bill Mott.
Baffert also was training Triple Crown candidates Maimonides, a
$4.6 million son of 2002 champion 2-year-old colt Vindication, and
J Be K, a $350,000 son of Silver Deputy. Zayat owns two other top
3-year-olds: Z Fortune and Z Humor.
"You never want to lose horses, but he's frustrated with
California," Baffert said. "We've all suffered this winter with
the missed days."
Santa Anita lost 11 of the first 33 days of its meeting because
the track's new synthetic surface failed to drain properly
following major rainstorms and hail in January. A weeklong
renovation project was completed Friday and racing resumed
Gomez rode Massive Drama and said the colt was emptied out by
the top of the stretch.
"I don't think he's a mile-and-a-quarter horse (the Kentucky
Derby distance), but he's definitely a nice little sprinter," the
Into Mischief's next start will likely be the $200,000 San
Felipe at Santa Anita on March 15. Walsh was noncommittal about
Georgie Boy's plans, although he's nominated to the $200,000 Rebel
Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas on the same day.
There was no show wagering because of the small San Vicente
field, reduced to four when Cardinal Zin was scratched.
In the $200,000 La Canada Stakes, Dawn After Dawn led all the
way and won by a length under Gomez. She ran 1 1-8 miles in
The 4-year-old bay filly paid $4 and $2.80 and $2.20 as the
even-money favorite. Say You Will returned $3 and $2.80, while
Caressive was another one length back in third and paid $3.20 to
Gomez praised the renovated synthetic surface after his first
race on it.
"I'm ecstatic about what I felt under me," he said. "It's
kind of like Keeneland, but not fluffed up as much. The horses hit
it and you can't feel it."
Ingrid the Gambler won the $75,000 Wishing Well Handicap by one
length over Rockella. Joe Talamo guided the 4-year-old dark brown
filly over 6½ furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:12.66.
She paid $20 to win. Foxysox was third in the field of 13.