Sweet Catomine Continues Working Toward Santa Anita Derby

Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wygod's champion Sweet Catomine, getting ready to take on males for the first time in the April 9 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :49 under regular jockey Corey Nakatani over Santa Anita's fast main track Monday morning.

The move, which was her first since winning the March 13 Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), was the 33rd-fastest of the 75 horses that went four furlongs on the day.

"She does it so easily," said co-owner Marty Wygod, who was on hand for the work.

Trainer Julio Canani said Sweet Catomine remains on schedule for Santa Anita's nine furlong sophomore feature, with any decision on a possible start in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on hold until at least after her next race.

"She's doing good," Canani said. "She actually has more weight on now than when she won her last race."

Sweet Catomine, a bay daughter of Storm Cat and the Kris S. mare Sweet Life, has won five of her six career starts, including the aforementioned Santa Anita Oaks and last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and Del Mar Debutante (gr. I). She's earned $1,044,600.

Wygod also said that he's received glowing reports from Kentucky on Sweet Catomine's full sister, who was born on March 5.

"They say she's very good looking," Wygod said. "Sweet Life also has a yearling colt by Gone West and a 2-year-old filly by Giant's Causeway , making him a three-quarter brother to Sweet Catomine. It's like having aces back-to-back-to-back."

Also working toward the Santa Anita Derby on Monday was El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) runner-up Wannawinemall, who went five furlongs in 1:01 with trainer Kristin Mulhall up.

The nearly black son of Royal Anthem bled badly in his last race and had most likely been bleeding at least a little bit in each of his four career starts, the trainer said.

"He bled a five out of five (in the El Camino Real Derby) and still finished strong," Mulhall said. "We didn't know he'd been bleeding because usually when it happens they throw their head up and pin their ears back and he never did that. He never looked uncomfortable. When he broke his maiden he was turning his head and looking into the stands, but we just thought it was because he was green, but now we know. We x-rayed his lungs and found bleeder lesions. The good news is that he didn't bleed today."

Owned by the partnership of Bienstock, Winner, Noctis LLC and Papiano, Wannawinemall broke his maiden in mid-February before finishing second to Uncle Denny in the El Camino Real Derby on March 12. From four starts overall, he's earned a win, a second and three thirds for earnings of $78,400.