Fog City Stable's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Buzzards Bay will return to the track on Tuesday morning, trainer Jeff Mullins said, where he will begin preparations for a likely next start in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Buzzards Bay upset the Santa Anita Derby field of 10 other sophomores at odds of 30-1, giving his trainer a record third consecutive victory in California's marquee Triple Crown prep. Mullins saddled Buddy Gil to win the 2003 running and Castledale a year ago, but neither hit the board in the Run for the Roses.
"He came back in good shape and ate everything up," Mullins said of the chestnut son of Marco Bay. "He'll go back to the track (Tuesday)."
Mullins said that, should Buzzards Bay head to Kentucky for the Derby, he will do all of his training at his home base of Santa Anita and ship to Churchill Downs a couple days before the race.
"I'm going to ship in as close to the race as I can," Mullins said. "He'll have all of his works here. He'll have two, maybe three works before the race but I haven't decided exactly how many yet. His first will be about nine days after (the Santa Anita Derby)."
Buzzards Bay, who was purchased privately by his owners late last year, won the Golden Gate Derby and was also third in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) before winning the Santa Anita Derby. From eight starts he's reached the winner's circle three times with a second and two thirds for earnings of $559,440, of which $480,000 is graded stakes earnings, placing him seventh in order of preference for the Kentucky Derby.
Two of Buzzards Bay's rivals in the Santa Anita Derby, Don't Get Mad and Wannawinemall, will most likely be skipping the Run for the Roses, according to their connections.
Trainer Ron Ellis said B. Wayne Hughes' Don't Get Mad, who finished sixth at odds of 7-1, came out of the race in good shape and will now be pointed toward a probable next start in the Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III).
"He seems fine, I don't know why he ran so poorly," Ellis said. "But anytime a horse doesn't run as well as he should I want to find out why, so I've got him scheduled for a nuclear scan on Thursday to rule anything out.
"We're definitely on the fence about the Derby, but most likely if everything's fine we'll point him toward the Derby Trial. He's nominated to the race, so that's what we'll probably do."
Don't Get Mad, a Kentucky-bred son of Stephen Got Even
who finished second in the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) and third in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), is undefeated in two starts at Churchill Downs, having broken his maiden and then capturing a first-level allowance over the Louisville oval last year. From five starts, he's got two wins, a second and a third, for earnings of $120,290.
Winner, Bienstock, Papiano and Noctis LLC's Wannawinemall, who finished in second by a nose ahead of Buzzards Bay in the El Camino Real Derby before his eighth-place performance in the Santa Anita Derby, will now be freshened for a spring/summer campaign.
"He's fine," trainer Kristin Mulhall said. "He bit his tongue in the race; it's black and blue and looks like it went through a paper shredder, but he's fine. I think I'll freshen him up a bit and get him to put on some weight. He's not skinny; I'd just like to put a little weight on him."
Wannawinemall, a Kentucky-bred son of Royal Anthem
has banked $78,400 from a record of 5-1-1-2.