The winner, who was bred by Applebite Farms, actually turned 2 on Mar. 2, which is not a California rule for juvenile racing, but was agreed upon by track stewards and horsemen. No 2-year-olds are allowed to be ridden with whips or wear blinkers until the division stretches out to 4 1/2 furlongs at the upcoming Hollywood Park meeting.
The first juvenile race of 2003 in Southern California was Thursday's first heat at Santa Anita, a two-furlong dash on the dirt won by John Brocklebank's colt Rockin' the Ship. The son of Western Fame was trained by Adam Kitchingman, and was the conditioner's first winner at Santa Anita.Under Los Alamitos-based jockey Gary Boag, Rockin' the Ship won the $38,000 Maiden Special Weight by 1 1/4 length in :21 2/5.Rockin' the Ship left the gate as the 7-2 second choice and returned $9, $5.40 and $4.40. Runner-up Gambling Rent was worth $7.80 and $4.60 at nearly 7-1, capping off the $33.60 exacta. Toss Both Ways, at odds of nearly 80-1, paid $17.40 and rounded out the $1,038.60 trifecta.