03/30/2010 11:00PM

Gato Go Win ambitiously spotted


ARCADIA, Calif. - The staff at trainer Bobby Troeger's stable at Hollywood Park are under instructions to walk gently past the stall of Gato Go Win this week.

"You don't drop anything around here," Troeger said. "He's sharp as a tack."

The tip-toeing policy will be enforced until Saturday, when Gato Go Win starts in the $150,000 Potrero Grande Handicap at Santa Anita. The sprint is Gato Go Win's first start in a graded stakes since last June. The Potrero Grande is one of three Grade 2 supporting stakes on the 11-race Santa Anita Derby program.

Owned by Jack Sims and Joey Platts, Gato Go Win joined Troeger's stable last spring and made one start for the stable, finishing seventh in a stakes at Stockton. He was turned out for the rest of the year and returned to win an optional claimer over six furlongs here on Jan. 30.

In that race, he stalked the pace, took the lead in early stretch and won by a head over Canonize in 1:07.64. Canonize returned to win a similar race March 17.

"I like that he sat behind a horse and didn't need to be on the lead," Troeger said of the Jan. 30 win. "He didn't move until he was asked to. He went down there in a good time."

Troeger has been the official trainer of Gato Go Win since last June, but has a long relationship with the colt. Until the middle of last year, Troeger was an assistant to Jeff Mullins, who previously trained Gato Go Win. With Mullins, Gato Go Win finished third in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes in February 2009 and was sixth in the Grade 3 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs last April.

After the Stockton race, Gato Go Win needed a break, but was not injured. "He was a tired horse," Troeger said.

In the Potrero Grande, Gato Go Win is part of a field of nine that includes Ventana, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes and San Carlos handicaps at this meeting. The winners of those races are not in the field. Kinsale King, who won the Palos Verdes, won the $2 million Golden Shaheen in Dubai last Saturday, while San Carlos winner Bob Black Jack has since been sidelined with injury.

"Now is a good time to try it," Troeger said.