Grey Memo, set to depart California Wednesday morning for Saturday's $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park, had his final prep for the 1 1/8-mile event Tuesday by working five furlongs in 1:00 1/5, handily, at Santa Anita. The nearly white son of Memo will have Jose Santos in the irons for first time and will break from post 11 in the 13-runner field.
"Well, I couldn't get Eddie Delahoussaye to ride because he retired," trainer Mel Stute joked, "and Gary Stevens is still working on that Seabiscuit movie, so I decided to go with Jose (Santos)."
Grey Memo is no stranger to winning million-dollar races after having earned the victory in last year's Godolphin Mile (gr. II) over Dubai's Nad Al Sheba racecourse. Overall Grey Memo has banked $1,359,659 from a career line of 42-8-3-7.
Other Sunshine Millions runners getting in their final preps for the Florida- vs. California-bred series at Santa Anita on Tuesday were Spinelessjellyfish (Turf), who blew out three furlongs in :36 for trainer Jenine Sahadi; Adminniestrator and Gobi Dan (Turf), for trainer Paddy Gallagher, who went five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 and 1:01, respectively; and Madame Pietra (Filly and Mare Sprint), who logged five furlongs in 1:03 3/5, breezing, for Howard Zucker;
Also working at Santa Anita Tuesday was grade 1 winner Congaree. Getting ready for his next start in the Feb. 2 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II), Congaree drilled five furlongs in :58 2/5, breezing, over Santa Anita's fast main track. The five-year-old had regular exercise rider Dana Barnes in the saddle for the move, which was the second-fastest of the 36 horses who worked at the distance.
"He's doing great," trainer Bob Baffert said. "I don't think he can be doing any better, really. We'll give him one more work and then he'll be ready for the San Antonio."
Congaree, a six-length winner of the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) in his last start, will once again have Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey in the saddle when he heads postward for the 1 1/8-mile San Antonio.
Ovarall, Congaree owns a career line of 15-8-0-4, $1,723,400. His biggest wins came in last year's Cigar Mile (gr. I), Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II), Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III), and in 2001's Swaps Stakes (gr. I) and Wood Memorial (gr. II). He also placed third in that year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I).