08/11/2011 4:05PM

Del Mar: Jaycito back in optional claimer

Shigeki Kikkawa
Jaycito missed the Santa Anita and Kentucky Derbies because of foot trouble.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Jaycito, the winner of the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes last October, will make his first start since March in an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles on Saturday.

Owned by Zayat Stables and trained by Baffert, Jaycito was second in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita in March but missed the Santa Anita and Kentucky Derbies because of foot problems.

“We’ve got to get him started,” Baffert said. “It’s time to go.”

Jaycito has worked quickly in recent weeks, and will need to be sharp in Saturday’s race, which drew a field of 10. The competition is led by the sharp maiden winner Centralintelligence in his first start against winners, and Great Warrior, who has been second or third in four similar races since late April.

Baffert has a top contender in Saturday’s fourth race, for 2-year-old maidens over 6 1/2 furlongs, Drill, who finished eighth as an even-money favorite in his debut on July 30.

“Drill needed that race,” Baffert said. “He was really green.” Drill, a colt by Lawyer Ron, will break from the rail in a field of eight and will wear blinkers for the first time.

Fit to Rule, third to subsequent Bestt Pal Stakes winner Creative Cause in a maiden race at Hollywood Park on July 16 starts from the outside for trainer Doug O’Neill. Hodge, a first-time starter trained by Mike Machowky, will attract support after a series of quick workouts.

“The way he’s training, he’ll run big,” Machowsky said. “The Baffert looks like the one to beat.”