by Margaret Ransom
Top Triple Crown hopeful Siphonic worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 over a fast track at Hollywood Park Saturday in preparation for the March 17 San Felipe S. (gr. II) at Santa Anita. Trainer David Hofmans clocked the Amerman Racing Stables colorbearer in splits of :12 3/5, :25, :36 3/5 and :48 3/5. Regular exercise rider Michelle Jensen was aboard for the move.
"I'm just tickled," Hofmans said. "If he had gone in 1:01 or 1:02, that would have been fine, but in the final eighth he just drops and kicks it in and makes it look so easy. Everyone talks about gears with horses. This horse had two or three more gears left today. That's kinda cool."
This latest breeze was the second for Siphonic since finishing second after a troubled break in the Santa Catalina S. (gr. II) at Santa Anita on Jan. 19. He logged a half-mile in an easy :50 3/5 two weeks ago and then missed a scheduled breeze last weekend after developing a slight fever. With all the trouble apparently behind him, Siphonic is now firmly back on track and looking toward the May 4 Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
"This horse has such intelligence," Hofmans said. "He's got such a great personality. He's really a nice horse to be around."
Plans call for the Kentucky-bred son of Siphon to run in the San Felipe, followed by the April 6 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) before moving on to Louisville and the Run for the Roses. Siphonic, who came out of Saturday's move in fine fettle, is scheduled to breeze again on Friday.
Another Hofmans-trained Triple Crown hopeful, Definite Edge, also was on the Saturday worktab at Hollywood Park, logging a half-mile in :47 3/5 just minutes after his stablemate. The son of Deputy Minister, who finished fourth after bleeding in the February 8 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, scoped cleanly after his drill and a decision will be made about where he'll likely run next within the next few days, according to Hofmans. Definite Edge, who has one win and one second-place finish from five career starts, is owned by David and Jill Heerensperger.
"Definite Edge has to put more work into it, but he went very well today and I'm pleased with how he went. He's a very nice a horse and he can really run."
Also working Saturday for a possible start in the San Felipe was Hollywood Prevue S. (gr. III) hero Fonz's, who went a half-mile in an easy :51 2/5. The son of Out of Place hasn't started since finishing second to Siphonic in the Dec. 15 Hollywood Futurity (gr. I).
Hofmans also said Jerry Frankel's Triple Crown-nominated colt Joey Franco suffered a stress fracture just above his elbow and will be out of training for about three months. The California-bred son of Avenue of Flags won his last race, a non-winners "other than" allowance at a mile on the main track by an impressive 3 1/2 lengths, on Feb. 15 in what was his third career start.
"It's the strangest place for that type of injury," Hofmans said. "It's a little stress fracture right above his elbow. He did it in his last race, I think. He came out of it fine and cooled out fine and then a couple days later he was sore. Thankfully it's not a big deal and he'll be back in action."
Joey Franco finished third in the Dec. 28 California Breeders' Championship S. in his first start and broke his maiden by a widening two lengths three weeks later. Overall, the colt has earned $78,000.