Jaycito joined the lineup for Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby when Bob Baffert announced that the winner of last year’s Grade I Norfolk Stakes and runner-up to Premier Pegasus in the March 12 San Felipe Stakes would be entered Wednesday in the $1 million, Grade I race.

The Hall of Fame trainer had been considering the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct the same day, but opted to keep the stretch-running son of 1998 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop at his home base for the 1 1/8-mile race.

“I was leery about running him back here, because horses with his style weren’t doing that well until recently, with the track favoring speed,” Baffert said. “But shipping could take something out of him, we won’t have to face (unbeaten Kentucky Derby favorite) Uncle Mo and the weather is good here.

“Plus, I think he’s got a good chance to win the race. Our main concern is to have him ready for the next one. This should set him up perfect for the Kentucky Derby.”


Assistant trainer Scott Blasi is well-satisfied with results at Santa Anita during Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen’s first extended run at The Great Race Place. Through Saturday, Asmussen had 11 wins from 42 starters for a winning percentage of 26.

Team Asmussen hopes to continue its successful Southern California sojourn on April 9 when they run Silver Medallion in the Santa Anita Derby, the West Coast’s major steppingstone to the $2 million Kentucky Derby on May 7.

Silver Medallion, winner of the Eddie Logan Stakes on turf Dec. 31 before taking the Grade III El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 12, looms the second choice or third choice behind Premier Pegasus

The bay son of Badge of Silver worked seven furlongs Tuesday in 1:23.60. “We got the move in him that we needed,” said Blasi, who added “we had him galloping out a mile in 1:37 and change.” Blasi anticipates a full field on Saturday. “It will be a field of 10 or 11,” he said. “They don’t give a million dollars away.”

Despite some 23 inches of rain this meet that altered training schedules, the Asmussen camp has overcome that obstacle. Blasi prefers to see the glass as half full.

“The weather’s been fine and the horses are doing well,” he said. “The race track’s been good to us.”

Probable for the Santa Anita Derby: Anthony’s Cross, Joel Rosario; Bench Points, Rafael Bejarano; Celestic Night, Joe Talamo; Comma to the Top, Corey Nakatani; Indian Winter, Patrick Valenzuela; Jaycito, Martin Garcia; Mr. Commons, Mike Smith; Offlee Wild Boys, no rider; Premier Pegasus, Alonso Quinonez; and Silver Medallion, Garrett Gomez. Mr. Commons worked five furlongs on Hollywood Cushion Track Sunday in 1:00.60 for John Shirreffs.

First post time on Santa Anita Derby Day is 12 noon. Gates open at 10 a.m. There will be a guaranteed $500,000 late Pick 4. Official Santa Anita Derby T-shirts will be available to all paid admission customers at Santa Anita while supplies last.


The California Horse Racing Board is seeking public comment prior to conducting a public hearing next month on a proposal to allow horses to run for purse money only as non-wagering interests in rare circumstances. The public hearing will be part of the regular monthly Board meeting scheduled April 28 at Hollywood Park.

The amendment to Rule 1974 proposes that on those infrequent occasions when “a horse is removed from the wagering pool due to a totalizator error, or due to any other error, and neither the trainer nor the owner is at fault, the horse shall start in the race as a non-wagering interest for the purse only, and shall be disregarded for pari-mutuel purposes.”

Additionally, the amendment states that when such a horse is running for purse money only, “the circumstances shall be announced over the public address system at the time the action is taken and thereafter to adequately inform the public. The racing association shall also inform off-track wagering outlets at the time such action is taken.”

The 45-day public comment period for this and related amendments began March 4. Written comments about this proposed regulatory action will be accepted until April 18. Written comments must be submitted to Harold Coburn, regulations analyst, at the California Horse Racing Board, 1010 Hurley Way, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95825, either by regular mail or by e-mail to

The public also is encouraged to comment during the public hearing on April 28. The agenda for that meeting, including the starting time, will be posted on the CHRB Website ( on or before April 18.

The proposed amendment to allow horses to run only for purse money addresses situations where horses are mistakenly removed from the totalizator system. The current two options for the stewards are either to scratch the horse, which unfairly penalizes the owner and trainer who were not at fault, or to order the horse placed back into the wagering system, which unfairly penalizes anyone who attempted to wager on that horse while it was out of the system.

FINISH LINES: Sunshine Millions Turf winner Caracortado, prepping for Saturday’s Grade II Arcadia Stakes, worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s firm turf course Sunday in 1:00.80 under regular rider Joe Talamo for trainer and part owner Mike Machowsky. Rafael Bejarano rides San Gabriel Stakes winner Jeranimo for Mike Pender in the Arcadia, while leading rider Joel Rosario rides Leroy’s Dynameaux for Mark Glatt. Jeranimo worked five furlongs on Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track Sunday in 1:02.80. The Arcadia is one of four graded stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, the other three being the Santa Anita Derby, the Grade III Las Cienegas Handicap and Grade II Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Among the expected Providencia starters are So Belle with Bejarano and Wave of Applause with Mike Smith . . . Trainer Marty Jones’ win machine Unzip Me worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s turf Sunday in 1:02 for the Las Cienegas at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf. Bejarano rides Unzip Me, while leading rider Rosario has the mount on Tanda for trainer Dan Hendricks . . . Oaklawn Handicap contender Misremembered worked five furlongs at Santa Anita Sunday in 1:02.80 for Bob Baffert . . . Other Hollywood Park main track works for Sadler Sunday included Malibu and Strub winner Twirling Candy, four furlongs in a bullet :46 flat; San Antonio winner Gladding, five furlongs in 1:01.40; and Las Virgenes winner Zazu, five furlongs in 1:02 . . . Agent Manuel Sanchez reports that Luis Medina will ride maiden Southern Sculptor for trainer Eric Guillot in Saturday’s $300,000, Grade III Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course. Southern Sculptor worked five furlongs on Santa Anita’s main track Sunday in :59.60 . . . Jockey Martin Garcia will be Steve Andersen’s guest Saturday at the Daily Racing Form seminar, 10:45 a.m., in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Deep-sixed: In Friday’s first race, jockey Alonso Quinonez lost the ride on Gribble Gamble when the 3-year-old filly was scratched after getting loose in the post parade. In Saturday’s second race, Quinonez was unseated when Zippin E went to her nose after the gates opened. Each horse broke from post position No. 6 . . . Santa Anita is dark Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Racing resumes Thursday at 1 p.m.