Updated on 09/16/2011 8:11AM

Came Home may not prep for Cup


DEL MAR, Calif. - Came Home, a six-time stakes winner this year and the upset winner of the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 25, may make his next start in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.

Trainer Paco Gonzalez said the decision will be based on how Came Home trains in coming weeks. After the Pacific Classic, the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 6 was mentioned as his next start, but the timing has become a concern.

"It's kind of close for the other race," Gonzalez said. "If we wait, I know he'll train good up to the Breeders' Cup."

A 3-year-old, Came Home won his debut against older horses in the Pacific Classic. In last weekend's future-book betting for the Breeders' Cup Classic, Came Home closed at 12-1, the sixth choice in the betting.

Gonzalez said Came Home would work this weekend at Hollywood Park before the stable moves to Santa Anita for the winter.

"He came out of his last race really good," Gonzalez said.

Pirate's Bounty wide-open race

The $70,000 Pirate's Bounty Handicap could go to any of the six entrants.

Avanzado is the only starter coming off a win, but Radiata, Capo di Capo, and Rio Oro ran well in their last starts. Top Hit was fourth in an allowance race over a mile and shortens up to six furlongs, while Lebontempsroulet lost all chance in an allowance race on Aug. 16 after a poor start.

Trainer Jose DeLima has taken no chances in recent weeks, giving Lebontempsroulet schooling sessions at the starting gate. Lebontempsroulet was claimed for $32,000 at this meeting last year and has since won 4 of 9 starts.

DeLima said he was surprised that Lebontempsroulet breezed five furlongs in 58.80 seconds, the fastest time of 46 works on Aug. 31.

"I gave him 15 days until I breezed him, then he went too fast," DeLima said.

Lebontempsroulet was favored on Aug. 16, but was beaten 7 1/2 lengths by Stormy Jack. Trainer Bob Baffert wanted to start Stormy Jack in the restricted Pirate's Bounty Stakes, but he is not eligible. The Pirate's Bounty is restricted to nonwinners of a first-place purse of $50,000 since May 15. Stormy Jack earned $54,600 on Aug. 16.

Miss Nicolie makes first win a stakes

Owner and breeder Ron Gomez was not giving away horses when he dispersed part of his holdings at the Barretts Mixed Sale in January 2001. When the bidding for a yearling named Miss Nicolie stalled at $20,000, he bought her.

"She didn't bring what I thought she was worth," Gomez said.

Miss Nicolie is worth considerably more after pulling an upset in Wednesday's $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes for 2-year-old statebred fillies.

A maiden, Miss Nicolie made her fourth career start in the Generous Portion Stakes. She was always close to the pace and pulled clear in the final furlong to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Ridden by David Flores, Miss Nicolie ($33.80) finished six furlongs in 1:11.24.

"We didn't expect her to be that close," Gomez said. "She really surprised us at the quarter pole that she had so much left in the tank."

The Generous Portion, restricted to nonwinners of a first-place purse of $35,000, was a milestone victory for trainer D. Wayne Baker. It was his first victory in a $100,000 race.

Gomez sold most of his stock at auction, but retains six broodmares, a few racehorses, and shares in the prominent California stallion In Excess. He reduced his stock because of health concerns, but says his health has improved.

A crafty claim by Olivares

At first glance, it seemed odd that a claim was placed on an 80-1 shot in Wednesday's fourth race, but trainer Frank Olivares knew what he was doing when he bought I Gotcha Covered.

Olivares already has trained I Gotcha Covered on two separate occasions.

"I know the history of the horse," he said of the 4-year-old gelding.

I Gotcha Covered outran his odds on Wednesday, finishing fourth in a sprint for $10,000 claimers. It was his first start in 346 days.

Olivares trained I Gotcha Covered in February 2001 when he was claimed for $20,000. Two races later, Olivares claimed I Gotcha Covered back for $12,500.

The gelding was claimed from Olivares for $10,000 at this meeting last year and later started for only $5,000.

Olivares said I Gotcha Covered could appear in northern or Southern California and is best suited in longer races.

"He's eligible for $5,000 starter allowances," Olivares said. "We can steal with him for a long time in those."

Futurity nearly an all-Baffert race

Trainer Bob Baffert has made jockey assignments for his five starters in Wednesday's $250,000 Del Mar Futurity. Baffert is attempting to win an unprecedented seventh consecutive futurity in the closing-day feature.

His team this year consists of Bull Market (Mike Smith), Chief Planner (Corey Nakatani), Friendly Mike (Patrick Valenzuela), Icecoldbeeratreds (David Flores), and Kafwain (Victor Espinoza).

"I could have had eight in there," Baffert said.

The only two rivals for the Baffert team are Outta Here, a maiden, and Gentlemen's Club, the winner of a maiden race at Hollywood Park.

Leniently makes debut

When Easy Grades was preparing for the Kentucky Derby earlier this year, trainer Ted West took a day trip to Louisiana to purchase her half-sister. Saturday, Leniently, by Langfuhr, makes her career debut in a $50,000 maiden race over six furlongs.

West said the transaction occurred quickly after he received a phone call from a Louisiana horseman who owned Leniently. After flying to Lafayette, La., to see Leniently, the deal was completed. Leniently is owned by West's wife, Mary Ellen.