Sunshine Millions: Mayakovsky Classic Bound

(Santa Anita track report)
Not the least disheartened by Mayakovsky's ninth-place finish in the seven-furlong Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita on opening day, trainer Patrick Biancone says the 4-year-old Florida-bred is ready to go as he prepares for the $1 million Ocala Breeders' Sales Classic at 1 1/8 miles in the Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25.

"We're going to ship and run," Biancone said. "And hopefully, win," he added, laughing.

Mayakovsky, a $210,000 son of Matty G, showed brief speed in the Malibu before tiring under jockey Tony Farina.

"He had trouble getting his air (in the Malibu), but it was a very beneficial race and he came out of it well," Biancone said of Mayakovsky. "I'm very happy with him. So far we're on target."

Biancone said he is still open on a rider for Mayakovsky, who has a 2-1-0 record from six starts, with earnings of $238,600 for owner Michael Tabor.

In other Sunshine Millions developments:

Grey Memo worked six furlongs at Santa Anita Friday morning in 1:16, handily, for trainer Warren Stute.

"We're probably going to go to the race in Florida ($1 million Ocala Breeders' Sales Classic)," the 81-year-old trainer said. "We don't fool around with small purses," added Stute, alluding to Grey Memo's victory last year in the $1 million Godolphin Mile.

Juan Pablo Silva said Malibu Stakes winner Debonair Joe "is perfect, and we're ready for the Sunshine Millions."

The reformed claimer galloped Friday morning and is scheduled to work "an easy half (mile)" Tuesday in preparation for the $250,000 Harris Farms Sprint at Santa Anita, Silva said.

Julie Krone, who rode Debonair Joe to victory in the Malibu and in Hollywood Park's Vernon O. Underwood Stakes (gr. III), has the mount in the Sunshine Millions.