Updated on 09/15/2011 12:49PM

Captain Steve, Point Given look sharp

Michael J. Marten
Captain Steve covered five furlongs in 59.60 seconds in his final work for Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million Pacific Classic.

DEL MAR, Calif. - With an eye on the immediate future, and the near future, trainer Bob Baffert sent out his two best horses, Captain Steve and Point Given, for workouts Tuesday morning at Del Mar.

Captain Steve's drill was the far more serious of the two. In his final work for Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million Pacific Classic, Captain Steve covered five furlongs in 59.60 seconds. The colt's owner, Mike Pegram, was among those watching.

"He worked good," Baffert said of Captain Steve, who is winless in three starts since winning the Dubai World Cup. He was a distant third in the San Diego Handicap in his last start, behind Pacific Classic rivals Skimming and Futural.

"I went real easy on him before the San Diego, because I didn't think the others were going to run," Baffert said. "He's still not where I want him to be, but he's getting there."

Baffert said Captain Steve is "in a mid-life crisis right now.

"He'll snap out of it," Baffert predicted.

Point Given worked a sharp three furlongs, his first drill since capturing the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Aug. 5. His time of 34.40 seconds was the best of 19 at the distance. As with Captain Steve, exercise rider Dana Barnes was aboard.

"He went nice. He was very aggressive," Baffert said. "He likes this cool weather. Dana said he was tough going to the pole, and he hadn't been that way since the Belmont. I think the last race sort of woke him up."

No decision has yet been made on whether Point Given will head to Saratoga for the Travers Stakes on Aug. 25. "We don't have a battle plan yet," said Richard Mulhall, the racing manager for Prince Ahmed Salman's The Thoroughbred Corporation, which bred and owns Point Given. Mulhall said the prince is coming to California this weekend, and he expects a decision to be made then.

"We have to make a decision before next Tuesday, because that's when the plane leaves for Saratoga," Mulhall said.

Mulhall said if the Travers is bypassed, Point Given might wait for the Goodwood Handicap at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

"But I'd kind of like to get two more races into him before the Breeders' Cup if we could," Mulhall said. "I just wish we had one more week for the Travers."

* Tiznow, last year's Horse of the Year, looked sensational while breezing seven furlongs in 1:24.60 on Tuesday morning at Del Mar. McCarron, his regular rider, was aboard for the drill, which was the best of five at the distance. Tiznow has not raced since the Santa Anita Handicap in March, but has turned in a series of impressive workouts in recent weeks.

Stakes star Gomez staying put

Garrett Gomez has been a man on the move this summer, which has kept him out of the top 10 in the riders' standings at Del Mar, but has enriched his bank account.

Last Sunday, Gomez went to Remington Park and won the $300,000 Oklahoma Derby on Top Hit. The previous weekend, he was at Saratoga, where he won the Vanderbilt Handicap with Five Star Day. And last month, he won the Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows with Euchre.

This weekend, Gomez is staying put, and for a good reason. He will ride Skimming, the race's defending champion, in the Pacific Classic.

"I told him, 'Don't worry, you're not going out of town this weekend, just get that million,'" said Gomez's agent, Michelle Barsotti.

Chicago-bound contingent

Several Del Mar-based jockeys will be traveling to Arlington Park on Saturday to ride in the Arlington Million, Beverly D. Stakes, and Secretariat Stakes.

Chris McCarron has mounts on Bienamado in the Million, Kalatiara in the Beverly D., and Sharp Performance in the Secretariat. Laffit Pincay Jr. will be aboard Takarian in the Million and Sligo Bay in the Secretariat, both for trainer Beau Greely.

Mike Smith is on Spook Express in the Beverly D. and Package Store in the Secretariat. Alex Solis rides Redattore in the Million, The Seven Seas in the Beverly D., and Startac in the Secretariat. And Gary Stevens has mounts on White Heart in the Million and European invader Aldwych in the Secretariat.

Waingarth scores at 19-1

Waingarth, the longest shot on the board, rallied from last to score a 19-1 upset victory in Monday's $100,000 Real Good Deal Stakes for California-bred 3-year-olds. He beat Stoney by a half-length, with 1-2 favorite Bring the Heat another 1 1/2 lengths back in third in the field of seven. Bring the Heat suffered his first loss after two victories.

Waingarth, with Tyler Baze aboard, was timed in 1:22.28 for seven furlongs on the fast main track. He paid $40.80 to win.

John Sadler trains Waingarth, who has now won twice in six starts, his only previous victory coming against Cal-bred maidens at Santa Anita in March. Monday's race was his first start since June 20. He had been gelded in the interim.

"Gelding him made all the difference," Baze said. "When I rode him before, he'd get all hot and ratty going to the post. Today he was totally cool."

Carava takes Awesome Daze back

Awesome Daze had not finished in the money in five consecutive starts, and was 49-1 in Monday's fourth race, but trainer Jack Carava, who had trained the 9-year-old gelding previously, claimed Awesome Daze for $10,000 on behalf of owner Norm Fritz. Awesome Daze ran last, but Carava, the leading trainer this past summer at Hollywood Park, said Tuesday that he was not discouraged.

"We claimed him for Pomona," Carava said of the Fairplex Park meeting, which begins next month and where Awesome Daze won last year. "The owner was pretty bent on having something out of that race."

Carava said Awesome Daze is "a neat, old horse to be around." He said the veteran of 59 races is sound of body, but not of mind. "With him, it's more attitude than soundness. He's pretty sound," Carava said.

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