Now 4, the nearly black son of Saint Ballado was put through his first workout in California in 10 months Sunday morning, going a half-mile in :48 4/5 at Santa Anita under jockey Tyler Baze.
"He seems to know this is his house," Becerra said. "I've had him back about three weeks and he seems to be happy, relaxed. I know I'm happy to have him back."
St Averil won last year's Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) and also finished second by a nose in the San Felipe (gr. II) before being scratched from Kentucky Derby (gr. I) consideration two days before the race. He resurfaced under Carroll's care in late November, but failed to show any of the form he displayed early in his career, finishing off the board in two starts. His last was a 12th-place finish in an allowance race at Fair Grounds.
"We always had big hopes for him," Becerra said. "I've put him on the exact same program I had him on before, so hopefully he'll turn things around. He was a little lazy in his work today, but when Tyler cracked him with the whip a couple times he really picked it up. He got the last eighth in :10 3/5. Maybe next time I'll put him with some company.
"I hope he can race before the end of the meet. When he's ready to run, we'll know it and then we'll find a race. He's still eligible for non-winners of two 'other than.'"
Kentucky-bred St Averil, who is out of the Lord Avie mare Avie's Fancy, was a $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling in 2002. From seven starts overall, he's reached the winner's circle twice with two seconds and has banked $238,000.
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