By Jon Forbes
Vicarino improved his record to three wins from four careers starts by capturing the $50,275 Stinson Beach Stakes for 3-year-olds Jan. 1 at Golden Gate Fields. The 2-5 favorite prevailed by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:09.23 for six furlongs.
Breaking from post position two under Russell Baze, Vicarino outsprinted his three rivals. He posted fractions of 21.34 for the opening quarter-mile and 43.81for the half-mile after receiving early pressure on the inside from Double Action.
Vicarino cleared Double Action inside the three-eighths pole before he was challenged by Candy’s Bro, who had sat behind the dueling leaders. Candy’s Bro drew within a length but was turned back by Vicarino, who was hand-ridden in the stretch.
Baze said after the race he was pulled to the lead by his headstrong mount. “I was trying to slow him down early,” the rider said. “He can go that fast a lot easier than he did today.”
Greg Gilchrist, who trains Vicarino for owner Harry Aleo, suggested Vicarino was eager to run off of a 2 1/2-month layoff, and stated he expected his horse to be challenged up the backstretch.
“Russell said he didn’t relax because he was so fresh,” Gilchrist said. “He said he wasn’t relaxing at all. You had to know Jerry (Hollendorfer, trainer of Double Action and Candy’s Bro) would send Double Action from the inside and have (Candy’s Bro) lay off early.”
Gilchrist is unsure where Vicarino will race next but did express interest in the 1 1/16-mile California Derby at Golden Gate Jan. 18 or in the 6 1/2-furlong Swale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park Feb. 3.
Vicarino is a bay colt by Vicar out of September Passion by Wolf Power. He was bred in Kentucky by Hopewell Investments.
Baze’s victory aboard Vicarino was his fourth of five wins on the day.