U S S Tinosa tuned up for Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) with a four-furlong work at Golden Gate Fields Sunday morning. The San Felipe (gr. II) runner-up completed the drill in :48 4/5, handily, on a fast track for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Stablemate Cappuchino, the winner of the Golden State Mile, went five furlongs in :59 4/5, handily.
U S S Tinosa is already a stakes winner at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, having won the restricted Sham Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths in early February. From 10 starts, the Ohio-bred son of Foxhound has won three races, all of them restricted stakes, with six additional placings. U S S Tinosa will ship to Santa Anita on Monday and be ridden by Kent Desormeaux in the race.
San Felipe (gr. II) winner Medaglia d'Oro worked five furlongs at Hollywood Park for trainer Bobby Frankel. He completed the work in 1:00 2/5 as he prepares for the April 13 Wood Memorial (gr. I).
Maiden Jack's Silver, a half-brother of Jamaican Rum, worked his five-eighths in 1:00 2/5. Last time out, the California-bred son of Soft Gold finished third in a Golden Gate Fields maiden race. Trainer Jim Cassidy has named Victor Espinoza to ride Jack's Silver in the Santa Anita Derby. The last maiden to race in the Santa Anita Derby was Nationalore in 1998.
Holdthehelm, who is considered a more likely entrant for the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. II), completed his exercise in 1:01 3/5 on a firm turf course. Holdthehelm has won two of 10 career starts for trainer Paul Assinesi and finished fifth in the Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the downhill turf course in his most recent start.
Assinesi said Sunday that Holdthehelm is "90 percent" certain to run in the 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby, with Patrick Valenzuela to ride him. As Valenzuela has been named to ride Mayakovsky in the Santa Anita Derby, Assinesi would need to get a new rider should he choose to run Holdthehelm at Santa Anita.
Assinesi said he worked the son of Helmsman on turf as he thought it would be easier on his injured hoof.
"He popped an abscess, so a turf work was easier for him," the conditioner explained. "I plan to work him seven-eighths on the main track on Saturday and leave on the 9th (April 9) for Arkansas."
Also heading out from Southern California for his next race will be Fonz's, who will fly to Chicago Tuesday ahead of Saturday's $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) at Sportsman's Park.
"He doesn't particularly care for the (Santa Anita) surface, as his recent work there indicated," trainer David LaCroix said. "He worked at Hollywood (Saturday) in 1:00 flat and galloped out three-quarters in 1:12 3/5. We'll have to face Repent, but I think that's better than running in the Blue Grass (Stakes, gr. I), and we're not nominated to the Arkansas Derby and I don't want to run in New York. Maybe we can get to the Kentucky Derby through the back door."
Aside from Fonz's and likely favorite Repent, others pointing toward the Sportsman's feature include One Tuff Fox, Publication, War Emblem, and possibly Captain Squire. Captain Squire is also under consideration for the California Derby.
Trainer Ray Bell confirmed that Hot Contest will not run in the Santa Anita Derby, but may run in the April 13 California Derby at Bay Meadows.
Santa Anita lists the following horses, with riders, as likely for the Santa Anita Derby: Came Home, Chris McCarron; Mayakovsky, Patrick Valenzuela; Danthebluegrassman, David Flores; Easy Grades, Gary Stevens; Jack's Silver, Victor Espinoza; Lusty Latin, Glenn Corbett; Tracemark, no rider named; and U S S Tinosa, Kent Desormeaux.
At Gulfstream Park, Peachtree Stable's Charioteer, nominated to Gulfstream's April 6 Aventura Stakes, breezed five furlongs in 1:03. The bay son of Silver Deputy out of the Dynaformer mare New Wave finished fourth in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) last time out while making his stakes debut.
Also working Sunday was Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) runner-up Habibti, who drilled four furlongs in :46 2/5 at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert. The daughter of Tabasco Cat failed to earn the bullet for fastest work at the distance that day, with that honor going to Stronach Stable's Raven Power. The Bruce Headley-trained son of Known Fact completed his half-mile in :45 2/5. Raven Power earned his initial win in his racing debut, but ran into Pelirrojo and then Sunday Break while finishing second in two subsequent allowance race starts.