02/20/2010 12:00AM

Bob Black Jack returns a winner in San Carlos


ARCADIA, Calif. - Bob Black Jack, the former six-furlong world-record holder and Grade 1 winner from 2008, returned from a 14-month layoff in Saturday's at Santa Anita.

He picked up his career exactly where it left off - headed to the winner's circle.

In the Grade 2 San Carlos, Bob Black Jack ($10.20) led throughout, easily beating five rivals, including Dancing in Silks, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint here last November. Sent off as the 7-5 favorite in the San Carlos, Dancing in Silks was never a factor and faded from third on the turn to finish fifth, 7 3/4 lengths behind Bob Black Jack.

Ridden by David Flores, Bob Black Jack ran seven furlongs in 1:21.05.

Trainer James Kasparoff's expectations soared when Bob Black Jack ran the opening quarter-mile in a relatively slow 23 seconds for a sprint.

"That made it look like it would be easier for us," he said. "When I saw that, I thought that he would like it."

Bob Black Jack led by as many as 1 1/2 lengths through the first half-mile and held off a threat from stalker Ventana to win by 2 1/4 lengths. Ventana finished a half-length in front of Supreme Summit.

The loss by Dancing in Silks left owner Ken Kinakin stunned. The fifth-place finish by Dancing in Silks was only the second time in his 15-race career that he has finished worse than fourth.

"I don't know what happened," Kinakin said.

Kasparoff said that Bob Black Jack's 10-workout preparation since early December gave Bob Black Jack a solid foundation for his comeback. A 5-year-old by Stormy Jack, Bob Black Jack has won 5 of 11 stars and $684,925.

Owned by James's brother Tim and Jeff Harmon, Bob Black Jack was injured after winning the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes here in December 2008, although the trainer has declined to state what type of injury occurred.

In January 2008, Bob Black Jack set a six-furlong world record of 1:06.53 with a victory in the Sunshine Millions Dash, a mark that was lowered to 1:06.49 by Twin Sparks at Turf Paradise last November.

"I'd put a lot of work in this horse," Kasparoff said of Bob Black Jack's comeback. "When you haven't run in a year and two months, you have a built-in excuse right there."

There was no need for such talk Saturday.

China Doll: City to City wins first stakes

City to City won the first stakes of her career in the $69,050 China Doll for 3-year-old fillies on turf.

The minor stakes was City to City's 10th start, fourth win, and third appearance in a stakes. The winner of a maiden claimer last August at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa, City to City ran a mile on turf in 1:35.92, outfinishing pacesetter Camille C. Andina finished third in the field of eight, with 6-5 favorite In the Slips closing from seventh in the final furlong to finish fourth.

City to City ($24.20) was ridden by Joel Rosario. A City Zip filly, City to City is owned by a partnership that includes trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The filly's best finish in a stakes prior to Saturday was a third in the minor Sweet Life Stakes on the hillside course here last month.