Bob and John, winner of the Sham Stakes (gr. III) six weeks ago, is one of three entries from trainer Bob Baffert in the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Baffert's other runners in the 1 1/16-mile event are Point Determined and Sky Diving in a nine-horse field. Also entered is A.P. Warrior, making his first start for John Shirreffs, who trained last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo.
Bob and John, a winner of three of seven and more than $200,000, is the likely favorite in the San Felipe, but Point Determined could be a threat. The impressive son of 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given
comes into the race off a win in a one-mile optional claimer at Golden Gate Fields. Sky Diving was second in the Turf Paradise Derby after breaking his maiden by 14 lengths in a race at Bay Meadows Han. 25.
Baffert has another Derby prospect in Point of Impact, whose next start hasn't been set.
The well-regarded A.P. Warrior was fourth in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) Jan. 29 before Shirreffs took over as trainer. A.P. Warrior also has a new rider in Corey Nakatani.
"It's time to get into the deep end of the pool, and Saturday it gets pretty deep," said trainer Richard Mandella, who sends out long shot Refinery, owned by B. Wayne Hughes. "So we'll find out. It will tell us what we've got."
Refinery, a $425,000 son of 1998 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Victory Gallop
, has a 2-0-2 record from five starts, with earnings of $71,160.
Hughes also hopes his Sky Diving can earn his way on the Triple Crown trail with a good showing in the San Felipe.
"I bought him at the (Ocala) 2-year-old sale (for $310,000)," the owner said. "I changed trainers (from Paul McGee to Baffert) late last year because McGee doesn't travel from Kentucky during the spring and we want to try to have a Derby horse with Sky Diving, so we brought him here to Bob. He's certainly a longshot, but we're hoping."
New Joysey Jeff comes into the San Felipe off a third-place finish in the seven-furlong San Vicente (gr. II) and a second in an allowance race at one mile for trainer Mark Glatt.
"He's coming up to the race real well," the trainer said. "He's improved very much with each start, and we're just waiting to run. We think we belong in the race and after the race, we'll see where go."
New Joysey Jeff, a Kentucky-bred son of Bright Launch
, worked four furlongs Wednesday in :49 4/5.$250,000 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II, Race 8, 4:07 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Point Determined (MD), 116, Garrett Gomez
2. Racketeer (KY), 116, Patrick Valenzuela
3. A. P. Warrior (KY), 116, Corey Nakatani
4. Refinery (KY), 116, Tyler Baze
5. Bob and John (KY), 122, Victor Espinoza
6. New Joysey Jeff (KY), 116, Alex Solis
7. Blazing Sunset (KY), 116, Felipe Martinez
8. Sky Diving (KY), 116, David Flores
9. Simon Pure (KY), 116, Jon Court