11/26/2009 12:00AM

Bridgetown gives McPeek big shot

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The invasion has begun. Trainer Ken McPeek is establishing a beachhead in Southern California. As of Monday, he will have 13 horses training on this circuit, and he anticipates having as many as 20 for the winter meeting at Santa Anita.

The main reason McPeek needs to expand is that he has a glut of promising 2-year-olds, and doesn't want them tripping over one another in the same spot. Included in that bunch is Bridgetown, who comes off a sharp second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting and is coming back on Saturday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Generous Stakes, part of the Hollywood Park Turf Festival this weekend.

Bridgetown set the pace in the Breeders' Cup and was caught by the John Gosden-trained Pounced while bravely holding off the 3-1 Interactif.

"I thought he ran super that day," McPeek said Thursday from Kentucky, where he makes his home. "He showed how much quality he has. Hopefully this race will be a little bit easier. There's not anything that John Gosden trains."

Bridgetown has been quite consistent. After finishing second in his debut at Churchill Downs, he defeated maidens at Saratoga, then punched his ticket to the Breeders' Cup by capturing the Summer Stakes at Woodbine. All his races have been on turf, the only constant in a career that, as of Saturday, will take him to his fifth track in five starts.

McPeek will miss the race, but he's got a good reason.

"I've got nine in at Churchill Downs on Saturday," he said.

His local assistant, Jordan Blair, will saddle Bridgetown.

The Generous - at one mile on turf, the same conditions as the Breeders' Cup - drew just seven others.

Bridgetown's main rival should be with him right from the start. Who's Up, like Bridgetown, prefers to be on or near the lead. Who's Up added blinkers for his last start and led from gate to wire against maidens at Santa Anita. It was his first start on turf after running twice on Polytrack at Del Mar, where he had the misfortune of running in races won by Lookin at Lucky, subsequently the BC Juvenile runner-up, and the promising Sidney's Candy.

Marcello makes his delayed turf debut in the Generous. He defeated allowance runners in an off-the-turf race last month at Santa Anita.

Alfarabi, seventh in the Norfolk, moves back to the turf for trainer Eoin Harty. In his only previous grass race, he defeated maidens at Del Mar.