Edited Press Release
Undefeated California-bred Smokey Image worked six furlongs Saturday morning at Santa Anita under Victor Espinoza in a bullet 1:12.20 as he prepares to run against open company in the San Felipe (G2) on March 12.
The clocking was the fastest of 30 at the distance, the average time of which was 1:14.45. Smokey Image, a son of 2004 Santa Anita H. (G1) winner Southern Image, won the California Cup Derby at 1 1/16 miles by 8 1/2 lengths on January 30 in his first start for Gaines and his first at two turns.
Gaines was well satisfied with the drill by Smokey Image, as she was with Bolo’s five-furlong workout on the main track in 1:00.
Bolo, winner of the Arcadia (G2) over a mile on grass February 13, is being considered for either the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) on turf or the $1 million Santa Anita H. at 1 1/4 miles on dirt March 12.
“We still haven’t decided on a race,” Gaines said, adding that at this point it makes little difference except to the media, since both races are the same day, so it doesn’t alter Bolo’s routine from a training standpoint.
Smokey Image previously was trained by Greg James, who is based in the Bay Area.
Also working for the San Felipe Saturday was Danzing Candy for Cliff Sise Jr., who called the six-furlong drill under Mike Smith in 1:13 flat “Beautiful. I got him galloping out (seven furlongs) in 1:25 and one or two.”
Robert B. Lewis (G2) runner-up Uncle Lino also worked for the San Felipe, going five furlongs in 1:03 with Fernando Perez aboard for trainer Gary Sherlock.
“He does that all the time,” Sherlock said of the relatively slow time. “He was by himself, nobody around (at 6:45 a.m. [PDT]) and he’ll do that 100 times. I’ll put another horse with him next week when he works again.”
San Vicente (G2) runner-up Exaggerator, also prepping for the San Felipe, worked five furlongs for Keith Desormeaux in 1:00.40.
Sunday, Robert B. Lewis winner Mor Spirit, Bob Baffert’s leading Triple Crown contender, is set to work under Martin Garcia for the San Felipe.
The son of Eskendereya was scheduled to breeze last Tuesday with regular rider Gary Stevens aboard but the drill was aborted when the colt “lost interest,” according to Baffert.
“He’ll work tomorrow and Martin will work him,” Baffert said. “He’ll either go out at 7:45 or 9 (a.m.).”
Baffert did not announce a distance for the workout.