Jaycito is Now Favored in Santa Anita Derby

Jaycito is Now Favored in Santa Anita Derby
Photo: benoitphoto.com
Jaycito is now favored in the Santa Anita Derby.
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The loss of 8-5 morning line favorite Premier Pegasus due to injury reduced the field for this year's running of the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 9 to 10 horses, including 4-1 second choice Jaycito, second to Premier Pegasus in the San Felipe, and 9-2 third choice Silver Medallion, who won the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III).

The Santa Anita Derby is the 10th race on an 11-race program that includes three other graded stakes. Post time is 4:37 p.m. PDT.

Zayat Stables' Jaycito, the distant runner-up in the San Felipe who drew the far outside post this time with Martin Garcia aboard. Jaycito raced without blinkers for the first time in his seasonal debut in the San Felipe, which was his initial start for trainer Bob Baffert, a five-time winner of the Santa Anita Derby. Blinkers go back on for the Santa Anita Derby.

Baffert opted to stay at home with his Victory Gallop colt after considering a start in the Wood Memorial (gr. I).

“I was leery about running him back here because horses with his style weren’t doing that well until recently, with the track favoring speed,” Baffert said. “But shipping could take something out of him, we won’t have to face (unbeaten Kentucky Derby favorite) Uncle Mo   and the weather is good here.

“Plus, I think he’s got a good chance to win the race. Our main concern is to have him ready for the next one. This should set him up perfect for the Kentucky Derby.”

Jaycito broke his maiden in Oak Tree's Norfolk last fall for trainer Mike Mitchell before encountering a world of trouble in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). He finished seventh in his dirt-track debut at Churchill Downs.

Silver Medallion, in his first appearance since winning the 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) over the Tapeta racing surface at Golden Gate Fields Feb. 12, is pegged at 9-2. The Steve Asmussen-trained Badge of Silver   colt will be making his first start on natural dirt in the Santa Anita Derby. He won the Eddie Logan Stakes on turf before that the El Camino Real. Garrett Gomez rides from post 4.

Since his first graded stakes win, the majority interest in Silver Medallion was sold to Steven Marshall's Black Rob Stables partnership, with original owner Michael Ryan retaining an interest.

A D K Racing's Anthony's Cross   won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II) by a nose at Santa Anita on the same day Silver Medallion captured the El Camino Real. The horse he nipped that day, Riveting Reason, is another from the Cho barn but Riveting Reason is off the Derby trail with a hoof injury.

Anthony's Cross, a son of Indian Charlie conditioned by Eoin Harty, is 6-1 in the early line and will have Joel Rosario back aboard.

Grade I winner Comma to the Top, fourth in both the San Felipe and the El Camino Real Derby in his two starts this year, looks to rebound for trainer Peter Miller. The Bwana Charlie gelding won six times in 2010, including the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) in December, and leads the field in earnings by a wide margin with $578,600. The 8-1 shot is ridden by Corey Nakatani.

California-bred Bench Points, third in the San Felipe, his first loss in five starts for trainer Tim Yakteen, and Mr. Commons, making his stakes debut for train John Shirreffs, are both listed at 12-1.

Indian Winter, 15-1 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, ran third in last summer's Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) but disappointed when third again as the 7-10 choice in the Turf Paradise Derby Feb. 26.

Baffert's recent maiden winner Midnight Interlude (20-1), Northern California shipper Offlee Wild Boys (50-1), and Quail Hill (50-1), a well-beaten fifth in the San Felipe after running third in the Lewis, complete the field.

$1 Million Santa Anita Derby (gr. I, Race 10, 4:37 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Offlee Wild Boys (CA), J Talamo, S Miyadi, 50/1
2. Indian Winter (KY), P A Valenzuela, J Hollendorfer, 15/1
3. Mr. Commons (KY), M E Smith, J A Shirreffs, 12/1
4. Silver Medallion (KY), G K Gomez, S M Asmussen, 9/2
5. Comma to the Top (FL), C S Nakatani, P Miller, 8/1
6. Midnight Interlude (KY), V Espinoza, B Baffert, 20/1
7. Quail Hill (KY), M A Pedroza, D E Hofmans, 50/1
8. Premier Pegasus (KY), A Quinonez, M K Cho, 8/5  SCRATCHED
9. Anthony's Cross (PA), J Rosario, E G Harty, 6/1
10. Bench Points (CA), R Bejarano, T Yakteen, 12/1
11. Jaycito (KY), M Garcia, B Baffert, 4/1
All carry 122 pounds.
Blinkers On: Quail Hill; Blinkers Off: Jaycito

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