Pico Central Returns in Bing Crosby; Greg's Gold Also in Field

Pico Central Returns in Bing Crosby; Greg's Gold Also in Field
Photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese
Pico Central, winning last year's Carter, returns in the Bing Crosby.
Greg's Gold and Pico Central have joined the field for Sunday's grade I, $300,000 Bing Crosby Handicap at six furlongs on Del Mar's main track.

That runs the total for the potential field to eight.

Greg's Gold won his way into the race with a sharp five-furlong move Monday morning in :58.80 with David Flores, who gets the call for the Crosby, in the saddle. Trainer David Hofmans expressed happiness with the work and confirmed that the Lake George gelding would run.

Stakes coordinator Zachary Soto confirmed that Pico Central, who posted earnings of $1.1 million in 2004 from five wins in seven starts, would contest the Crosby. The 6-year-old son of Spend a Buck, trained by Paulo Lobo, will be making his first start since finishing fourth, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths, in the grade I Dubai Golden Shaheen.

During his super-impressive 2004, Pico Central scored three grade I victories in New York - the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct and the Metropolitan, known at the Met Mile, and Vosburgh, both at Belmont. Between the Met Mile and the Vosburgh, Pico Central finished third to Kela and Domestic Dispute in Del Mar's grade II Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap.

In the Vosburgh, Pico Central defeated eventual Eclipse Award champion sprinter Speightstown. The Lobo trainee finished his year with a third place in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) at Aqueduct.

Another sharp breeze Monday morning set up Taste of Paradise for a possible run in the Crosby. The Gary Mandella trainee was caught in :47.60 for a half-mile with Martin Pedroza, who will ride on Sunday, in the irons. "I couldn't ask for anything better," Mandella said. "If he comes out of the work OK tomorrow, we're running."

Helping to make the upcoming Crosby a star-studded event will be the presence of Areyoutalkintome, Storm Wolf, Stormin' Lyon and two outstanding shippers - Battle Won, who is already on the grounds for trainer Charles Simon, and the Cole Norman-trained Top Commander, who is scheduled to arrive Tuesday.

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