Siphonic and Jerry Bailey will be reunited in the Jan. 19 Santa Catalina Stakes.

Siphonic and Jerry Bailey will be reunited in the Jan. 19 Santa Catalina Stakes.

Siphonic's Kentucky Derby Trek to Begin in Santa Catalina

Eclipse Award finalist Siphonic will make his first start as a 3-year-old in the Jan. 19 Santa Catalina Stakes as trainer David Hofmans tries to win the $150,000 race for the second straight year. In 2001, Hofmans-trained Millennium Wind won the 1 1/16-mile event.

Siphonic, the 5-1 future-book favorite at Bally's for the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby (odds as of Jan. 9), won three of four starts as juvenile, including grade I and grade II wins at the Santa Catalina distance. His only defeat came in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), in which he finished third.

"He's doing very well, he's coming along nicely," said Hofmans. "He's very talented and he's also one of the smartest young horses I've ever been around. But in this business, you take it one step at a time. Right now we're concentrating on the Santa Catalina."

Siphonic is part of the first crop of Siphon, who was capable of carrying his speed 1 1/4 miles in grade I company. If Siphonic inherited that trait from his sire, Hofmans may have his second Triple Crown-race winner. In 1997, Hofmans-trained Touch Gold won the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Jerry Bailey will demonstrate his belief in the colt's Triple Crown chances when he will again fly to California to ride the colt. Bailey first rode Siphonic in the Breeders' Cup and has since made one cross-country flight to ride Siphonic. That trip resulted in a victory in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I).

Siphonic is scheduled to breeze at Hollywood Park on Sunday.