Jim and Marilyn Helzer and Tom Durant's 6-year-old Wooden Phone, out for 15 months after fracturing a shoulder, returns to action as the 119-pound high weight in Saturday's $150,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. II) for older horses at Santa Anita.
The Florida-bred gelding by Pick up the Phone, trained by Bob Baffert, was last seen winning the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) by a head over Euchre at Santa Anita on Jan. 5, 2002. He was on his way to the top of the Southern California handicap division at the time of his injury.
Wooden Phone also won the 2001 Strub Stakes (gr. II) on the Arcadia, Calif. track, defeating defending Horse of the Year Tiznow, and was second to Tiznow in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) a month later.
Corey Nakatani, who rode Wooden Phone to victory in the Strub, has the mount. Wooden Phone has five victories in 14 career starts and earnings of $830,236.
A field of eight contests the 1 1/8-mile San Bernardino.
Native Diver (gr. III) winner Piensa Sonando, a well-beaten fourth to Congaree in this year's San Pasqual, could provide the biggest obstacle if the pace is quick enough.
Aaron and Marie Jones' Kela, winner of last month's Tokyo City Handicap at Santa Anita, gave trainer Larry Barrera his first stakes triumph in more than a decade.
Western Pride, second in the 2002 Big Cap, will try to return to his winning form in the San Bernardino$150,000 San Bernardino Handicap (gr. III), 4 & up, 1 1/8 mile
PP. Horse, Wgt., Rider
1. Kela (KY), 116, Matt S. Garcia
2. Wooden Phone (FL), 119, Corey S. Nakatani
3. Tracemark (KY), 113, Kent J. Desormeaux
4. Lord Jim (ARG), 113, Gary L. Stevens
5. Fleetstreet Dancer (KY), 112, Tyler Baze
6. Total Impact (CHI), 113, Victor Espinoza
7. Piensa Sonando (CHI), 115, David Romero Flores
8. Western Pride (FL), 116, Patrick A. Valenzuela