Giacomo '50-50' for Saturday's Strub Stakes

(from Santa Anita notes)
Giacomo, who stunned the racing world with a 50-1 victory in last year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), could make his first start in nearly eight months in Saturday's Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park, trainer John Shirreffs said Sunday morning.

"There's a 50-50 chance he'll run," Shirreffs said of the 1 1/8-mile test for 4-year-olds. "If he does, Mike Smith will come in to ride him."

Smith, the 40-year-old Hall of Fame jockey who won his first Run for the Roses aboard Giacomo, has been riding in Florida.

Besides winning the Derby, Giacomo, a gray son of 1994 Horse of the Year Holy Bull owned and bred by Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss, finished third in the Preakness (gr. I) last May 21 and seventh in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 11. An Eclipse Award finalist for top 3-year-old male, he hasn't raced since.

Shirreffs reports that Giacomo has been training forwardly for his return. He's had three recent seven-furlong drills at his Hollywood Park headquarters, the most recent coming Jan. 27 when he was timed in 1:27 2/5.

The Strub offers $300,000 in added money and is the final leg of the Strub series for foals of 2002.