Adhering to the belief that timing is everything, trainer Richard Mandella said Sunday morning that Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Minister Eric could make his 3-year-old debut on the Santa Anita turf in the $100,000 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) at about 6 ½ furlongs on Feb. 28.
It would not be an unprecedented program en route to winning the Santa Anita Derby. Buddy Gil won the Baldwin last year before going on to capture the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).
"I may think of the Baldwin Stakes," Mandella said when asked about a starting point for Minister Eric, who worked six furlongs Saturday in 1:14 2/5. "It would be just because of the timing of it," Mandella said. "I don't have him ready to go long, he's about ready to go short and he would be ready by that race. He's bred to run on the grass (Old Trieste-Musical Minister) and the Baldwin wouldn't hurt him because then I could skip on to something longer afterwards."