CAME HOME AGAIN The $150,000 San Vicente (gr. II) usually isn't a Triple Crown prep race. There have been exceptions, such as in 1997 when Silver Charm defeated Free House en route to his Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) victories, but the seven-furlong race most often is won by 3-year-olds that later prove to have distance limitations. That may or may not be the case with this year's winner, Came Home, who rated behind the early leaders before finishing with a strong rally down the stretch to score by four lengths at 7-10. Ridden by Chris McCarron, Came Home covered the distance in 1:21.92. Jack's Silver, a half-brother to 2001 Kentucky Derby starter Jamaican Rum, finished second as a maiden, with pacesetter Werblin third. Popular, who pressed the pace, finished fourth, with longshots Line Rider and Mighty David fifth and sixth, respectively. Came Home won his first three starts last year, including the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) and Hopeful Stakes (gr. I). He tired to be seventh after pressing the pace in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) on a track that wasn't kind to speed horses. The 1 1/16-mile Juvenile was Came Home's first race beyond seven furlongs. Trained by Paco Gonzalez, Came Home was bred in Kentucky by his co-owners, John Toffan and Trudy McCaffery, who, after the Hopeful, sold a 50% interest in the colt to Lane's End Farm and Texan John Goodman. Gonzalez said Came Home will be pointed toward the one-mile San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) on March 2. "We'll have to see how far he'll take us," said Bill Farish, who was on hand to represent Lane's End. Toffan hopes Came Home will take his owners well beyond the San Rafael. "Now that he's really learning to relax, I think he'll go on. He finished very strong today."
AT THE WIRE Trainer Bobby Frankel unveiled a potential turf monster in Beat Hollow, a Juddmonte Farms homebred by Sadler's Wells who had not raced since winning the Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) in June of 2000. The 5-year-old bay won a nine-furlong allowance race on Jan. 31 by a deceptively easy one length after getting caught in traffic on the turn for home. Alex Solis rode. Beat Hollow was winning for the fourth time in five starts, his only loss coming when third to Sinndar and Sakhee in the Epsom Derby (Eng-I). He'll go next in the $700,000 Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) March 24 at Fair Grounds...Frankel scored a stakes double Feb. 2 when another Juddmonte homebred, 6-year-old Auction House, shipped to Arizona and outgamed Devine Wind to take the $142,500 Turf Paradise Breeders' Cup Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on turf...Also shipping out of town for a stakes engagement Feb. 2 was Red Baron's Barn's Janet, who scored a 1 3/4-length win at Golden Gate Fields for trainer Darrell Vienna in the $100,000 Brown Bess Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/16 miles. The Ramona Handicap (gr. IT) and Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. IT) winner is nearing $1 million in career earnings...Wooden Phone, who won last year's Strub and this year's San Pasqual Handicap (both gr. II) for Tom Durant and Jim and Marilyn Helzer, will be sidelined for several months after a nuclear scan detected a fracture in his right shoulder. Bob Baffert trains the son of Pick Up the Phone...Granja Vista Del Rio Stable's Pelirrojo edged odds-on Raven Power by a neck in a closely watched mile allowance contest for 3-year-olds on Jan. 30. Farther back were two colts Baffert had high expectations for: Puerto Banus and True Monarch. Pelirrojo, a gray, stretch-running son of Flying Continental, is trained by John Sadler...Jockey Patrick Valenzuela scored his first stakes victory in more than two years on Feb. 2, winning the Pro or Con Handicap for California-bred distaffers aboard Ta Ta Be True, a daughter of Truly Met owned and bred by Tony and Josephine Rescigno. Ta Ta Be True was vanned off the track after the race when Valenzuela said she pulled up "sore."(Chart, Equibase)