Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) victor Dancing in Silks had his four-race winning streak halted in his first start of 2010. If he can bounce back with a win in the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 20, the California-bred son of Black Minnaloushe could be making his next stop in Dubai for the the $2 million Golden Shaheen (UAE-I).
That's the hope of trainer Carla Gaines, who added the seven-furlong San Carlos to Dancing in Silks' schedule after the 5-year-old gelding turned in a third-place finish in the Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) as the odds-on favorite at Santa Anita Jan. 23. Gaines would like to see Dancing in Silks regain the form that saw him post a desperate 25-1 upset by a nose in the BC Sprint over the same track Nov. 7.
Dancing in Silks had a nice stalking trip along the inside in the Palos Verdes. But after angling out for the drive, he could not run down Kinsale King and was beaten by 1 3/4 lengths. Dancing in Silks won't have Kinsale King to deal with this time, though the runner-up in the Palos Verdes, Ventana , does return in good form for trainer Bob Baffert.
In addition, there's a new shooter in the San Carlos with a big reputation. That's Bob Black Jack, the former world record holder for six furlongs who has not raced since winning the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (gr. I) over the Santa Anita track in a sizzling time 1:20.20 on Dec. 26, 2008.
A winner of seven of 14 starts and $1,465,422 for owner Ken Kinakin, Dancing in Silks gets off the rail for the San Carlos in post position 4, but will be traveling a distance he's not accustomed to. Dancing in Silks has raced two twice at seven-eighths, posting a second and a third, but has not tried it since October 2008. In 2009, all of his main track efforts were at six furlongs. Joel Rosario is aboard once again. Dancing in Silks carries top weight of 121 pounds.
That's just one more pound than Bob Black Jack, who trainer James Kasparoff believes will need the race after the 5-year-old's lengthy layoff. The California-bred son of Stormy Jack has been training regularly at Hollywood Park since mounting his comeback following an unspecified leg injury sustained while preparing for the 2009 Sunshine Millions Sprint.
As a 3-year-old In 2008, Bob Black Jack set a world record for six furlongs of 1:06.53 in winning the Sunshine Millions Dash, ran second in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), and set the pace before fading to 16th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Bob Black Jack owns a 4-2-1 record from 10 starts with earnings of $594,925 for owners Jeff Harmon and Tim Kasparoff. His record six-furlong time was lowered to 1:06.49 by Twin Sparks at Turf Paradise last November. The dark bay will be reunited with jockey David Flores and they will leave from post 3.
Ventana closed willingly in his duel with Kinsale King in the Palos Verdes but came up a half-length short in his best stakes effort to date for Baffert. The 4-year-old son of Toccet has posted five consecutive in-the-money performances since last March, but has just one victory in that span. That came in a second-level allowance race at 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita immediately prior to his most recent start. He posted a bullet six-furlong move in 1:11 at Santa Anita Feb. 14. Victor Espinoza takes over.
Supreme Summit and Quietly Mine, fourth and fifth in the Palos Verdes, Hunch and Bestdressed complete the field.
$150,000 San Carlos Handicap (gr. II, Race 9, 4:38 p.m.), 4 & Up, 7 Furlongs (Synthetic)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Hunch (FL), J Talamo, 113, J W Sadler
2. Supreme Summit (KY), R Bejarano, 113, D F O'Neill
3. Bob Black Jack (CA), D R Flores, 120, J M Kasparoff
4. Dancing in Silks (CA), J Rosario, 121, C Gaines
5. Bestdressed (CA), A Quinonez, 115, J W Sadler
6. Ventana (KY), V Espinoza, 114, B Baffert
7. Quietly Mine (KY), I Beato, 114, J Carava