Came Home suffered his only loss as a 2-year-old in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile, finishing seventh after winning three straight, including the Hollywood Juvenile and the Hopeful at Saratoga. After that, trainer Paco Gonzales put him on the shelf until Saturday's $150,000 San Vicente at Santa Anita.
The son of Gone West responded nicely, relaxing when asked by jockey Chris McCarron, then accelerating through the lane to win by 4 lengths. Jack's Silver was second and Werblin third, followed by Popular, Line Rider and Mighty David.
Came Home ran 7 furlongs in 1:21.92.
"I knew he was training very good coming into this race," said Gonzalez. "But it's hard going seven-eighths after a three-month layoff. He had to spot these horses weight and two of them had won stakes and one had a 108 Beyer (Werblin). So you worry a lot."
With this worry over, Gonzalez said he probably will send Came Home out again in the 1-mile San Rafael on March 2. Jack's Silver also is expected to make that race his next goal.
At Gulfstream, Showmeitall appeared to be drawing clear with a furlong to go in Saturday's $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes, then was all out to hold off a fast-finishing Monthir and win by a nose. Royal Lad was third and the favorite, Maybry's Boy, finished fourth.
Showmeitall, a Florida-bred gelding by All Gone, ran 7 furlongs on a "good" track in 1:26.07. The victory avenged his second-place finish to Maybry's Boy in the Jan. 3 Spectacular Bid Stakes.
Showmeitall's future is not clearly defined. Trainer Manny Tortora said the gelding is nominated "to everything, including the Illinois Derby." He szid the Feb. 16 Fountain of Youth is too soon for him, "But you'll see him somewhere down the line."
Tortora said he isn't worried about increasing distances. "He's won at a mile," the trainer added, referring to a conditioned allowance event at Calder last September that Showmeitall won while loose on an easy lead. Jockey Jorge Chavez, who rode the gelding Saturday, isn't too sure.
"This horse might be able to go farther if you could get him to relax," Chavez said. "But it could be a tough thing to do because he's so competitive."
Repent, runner-up to Johannesburg in last fall's Breeders' Cup Juvenile, worked 5 furlongs on Friday morning at Gulfstream Park in 1:03. Trainer Ken McPeek said he still hasn't decided on the colt's next start but is considering events at Gulfstream and Fair Grounds.
In other weekend racing:
Mizzen Mast romped off to a 4-length victory over Giant Gentleman in Saturday's $400,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds at Santa Anita. The Cozzene colt, with Kent Desormeaux up, broke in mid-pack at the start of the 9-furlong event, worked through horses on the backstretch and took the wide course into the stretch. He got to the front midway down the lane and drew clear. The final time was 1:47.25. It was the colt's third straight stakes win and his second straight Grade I, following the Malibu. Those two Grade I events are the only main-track starts Mizzen Mast has made. "Well," explained trainer Bobby Frankel, "he's trained really well on it and I have a lot of grass horses and I just took a shot in the Malibu. You never know until you run on it." Frankel said he now will train Mizzen Mast up to the Santa Anita Handicap on March 2.
Also Saturday, jockey Patrick Valenzuela picked up his first stakes win in more than two years as he guided Ta Ta Be True to victory in the $125,000 Pro or Con Handicap. Ta Ta Be True, a 7-year-old mare by Truly Met, came from off the pace and caught early leader Stetson Lady in deep stretch to win by 1 length. Super Tuesday was third on Super Sunday. Time for the 1 mile on firm turf was 1:35.89.
On Sunday, Redatore overhauled Euchre in the stretch to win the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap by ½ length. The 9 furlongs on a fast main track went in 1:48.66. Irisheyesareflying ran third and the favorite, Lido Palace, never challenged, finishing fourth. "He won by a half length but he did it very easy," said winning jockey Alex Solis. "I waited until the eighth pole. I wanted to make sure I had enough horse because I was expecting Lido Palace to be coming at the end." Jerry Bailey, on Lido Palace, said his mount "didn't stop but he didn't accelerate like he needed to do." Trainer Richard Mandella said Redattore, a 7-year-old Brazilian-bred, will go either to the Dubai World Cup or to the Santa Anita Handicap. Frankel said Euchre will go on to the Santa Anita Handicap, adding, "I don't think he'll beat Mizzen Mast, though."
Mystery Giver closed stoutly down the stretch in Saturday's $150,000 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup to catch Even The Score and win by 1 ½ lengths. Candid Glen came from well back to finish third. Mystery Giver, a 4-year-old son of Dynaformer, ran the about 9 furlongs over firm turf in 1:50 -- a stakes record. Jockey Eddie Martin said he felt Mystery Giver should have won his last start over the course -- the $100,000 Woodchopper Handicap on Dec. 22. "We had a little traffic trouble around the turn in that race," Martin said. "He turned it on late in that race, but it was too late." Trainer Richard Scherer said the colt is improving with each race. "He'll go farther and it's scary because I don't know how good he can be."
In Sunday's $80,000 Fair Grounds Sales Derby, Kid Tristan took over in the stretch to win by 6 ½ lengths over Toi Fund. He ran 1 mile in 1:39 4/5. The race was restricted to 3-year-olds sold last year at the Fair Grounds' 2-year-olds in training sale.
City Fair took command in Saturday's $75,000 Correction Handicap once jockey Shaun Bridgmohan got her to the outside as the field swung into the stretch. After that, the 4-year-old Carson City filly mowed down the leaders and won off by 2 lengths over Look of the Lynx. Outstanding Info was third. City Fair ran 6 furlongs in 1:11.59. "She started jumping up and down when the dirt was hitting her," said Brigdmohan. "I got her outside and, from the top of the stretch, she gave me a nice run down the lane." Mike Maker, assistant to winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas, said the filly will stay in New York and race sparingly.
Cellars Shiraz stalked August Storm around the turn and into the stretch in Sunday's $100,000 Herecomesthebride Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, wore down the leader and won by 1 ¼ length. She's Vested was 2 lengths back of August Storm in third. Cellars Shiraz, a Florida-bred by Kissin Kris, ran 1 1/16 mile on a turf course rated "good" in 1:43.21. "I had a lot of horse under me the last eighth," said winning rider Cornelio Velasquez. "This filly will go farther." Owner Robert Walker said the next race has not yet been decided.
Auction House surrendered the lead to Devine Wind at the furlong marker in Saturday's $150,000 Turf Paradise Breeders' Cup, then came back to win in the final strides. Casey Griffin was third. Auction House, trained by Bobby Frankel, ran the 1 1/16 mile on the grass in 1:43.31. "My horse changed leads late and found late run," explained winning jockey Mirco Demuro.
Also Saturday, California invaders Captain Squire, National Park and Lusty Latin finished 1-2-3 in the Turf Paradise Derby. Captain Squire, a son of Flying Chevron, will head for graded stakes competition back in California, said trainer Jeff Mullins. Captain Squire ran 1 1/16 mile in 1:41.76.
In the Turf Paradise Oaks, Bella Cash stayed close to the early pace and made the tactic pay off. At the top of the lane, she took over from 3-5 favorite No Turbulance and drew off for the victory. Calce Clunes was second and Lady Continental third.
Golden Gate Fields
Janet took command in the stretch run of Saturday's $100,000 Brown Bess Handicap and won ridden out. Impeachable was second and Alexine third. Janet, a 5-year-old, English-bred mare by Emperor Jones, ran the 1 1/16 mile on "good" turf in 1:44.14. "We just point her in the right direction and she runs," said Scott Chaney, assistant to trainer Darrell Vienna. He said Janet will stay in light training and point for the Santa Barbara on April 20 at Santa Anita. David Flores had the winning ride.
When 3-5 favorite Touch Love stumbled out of the gate in Saturday's $60,000 Jameela Stakes, unseating rider Ramon Dominguez, Bronze Abe was the beneficiary. Settling behind the riderless Touch Love, Bronze Abe cruised through the 7 furlongs in 1:27, winning by 2 ¾ lengths over Nanden. Phyxius was third. Heavy show betting on Touch Love inflated the show payoffs for all three top finishers. Winning trainer Bud Delp commiserated with Touch Love's trainer, Tony Dutrow. "I feel bad about that, but that's racing luck," he said. Neither Dominguez nor Touch Love was hurt in the incident.
Request for Parole swung three-wide into the stretch in Saturday's $50,000 WEBN Frog Stakes for 3-year-olds and went on to win by 1 ½ lengths over Perfect Drift. Thunder On Land was third. Request for Parole, a Kentucky-bred son of Judge T C, got the 1 mile in 1:36.92. Request for Parole and Thunder on Land ran as an entry for trainer Stephen Margolis.
King Command ran down pace-setting Boots On Sunday in the stretch run to win Saturday's $50,000 King Cotton Stakes. Bidis, winner of last year's running, finished third. The favorite, Robin de Nest, never threatened. King's command finished the 6 furlongs in 1:09 4/5.
Tampa Bay Downs
Afnan was a mystery at the mutuels before Saturday's $50,000 Gasparilla Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, getting off at 20-1 odds. But the daughter of Outflanker took full benefit of the "loose on the lead" advantage, coasting to a front-running, 1 ½-length victory. Expected Roll was second and Rebecca's Charm was third. The favorite, Shesastonecoldfox, got home sixth. The 7 furlongs took 1:24.95. "I was very surprised to break on top today," said winning jockey Jesus Castanon."
Runmore Mema got a clear lead early in the stretch run of Sunday's $100,00 New Mexico State University Handicap, then held on to win by a neck over a fast-closing I'm Not Bluffin. Ciento was third and the favorite, Yulla Yulla, faded to finish sixth after running with the early pace. Runmore Mema, a 5-year-old son of Jack Wilson, ran 1 mile on a sloppy track in 1:38.79.
News and Notes
Jungle Pocket, winner of the Japanese Derby and the Japan Cup, has been selected Japan's Horse of the Year for 2001. A special award was presented to Stay Gold, who represented Japan in the winner's circle in both Dubai and Hong Kong international racing during the year....Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos has been retired. The colt was injured during training at Gulfstream Park for Saturday's Donn Handicap. Trainer John Ward said he suffered a tendon injury in his left front ankle. He finished sixth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont Stakes after his Derby win.