Omega Code in Exclusive Company
Date Posted: 1/8/2003 8:37:14 PM

(from track report)
Wesley Ward says Omega Code is one of the best horses he's ever trained, putting him in the ranks of venerable Men's Exclusive, a 10-year-old that has earned more than $1 million.

Omega Code just turned three, so he has a long way to go to match Men's Exclusive. Ward hopes Omega Code can take a step forward in Sunday's $100,000 San Miguel Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at six furlongs.

"I've never really gotten the chance to train this horse into a race," Ward said of the $350,000 Florida-bred son of Elusive Quality. "This will be the first time I really planned for a race and trained him into it. The first race he ever ran, I was fighting a shin (problem), and he stumbled at the break when he was second to Bull Market (in his first start, last July 24 at Del Mar). After that I turned him out and gave him some time, then brought him back.

"I had planned to run him in the Futurity at Fresno, but after I read the conditions, I learned I wasn't eligible, so I ran him off of two works in a half-mile maiden race at Pomona, and he equaled the track record (:45 4/5). He came back in two weeks and ran at Fresno (on Oct. 5 in the Ronn and Jess Cloud Memorial), then came back 20 days after that and ran in Chicago (Gilded Time on Oct. 25). It was all just too much (to win the Arlington race), but I'd still say he's as good a horse as I've ever had."

Omega Code has a 2-1-1 record from four starts, with earnings of $95,310 for owners Dan Butler, Mike Moore and Ward.

In other San Miguel developments, trainer David LaCroix said Jimmy O is "50-50" to be supplemented to the race at a cost of $2,000. "I was in Costa Rica when nominations closed (on Jan. 2) and didn't nominate," LaCroix said Wednesday. "But the horse worked well this morning (three furlongs in :36.40 at Hollywood Park), so we're considering it."

Probable for the San Miguel: Bossanova, Alex Solis; Echeverria, David Flores; Omega Code, Martin Pedroza; Only The Best, Pat Valenzuela; and Red Apache, Corey Nakatani.

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