06/14/2006 11:00PM

Genuine Talent comes north


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Eleven runners meet in northern California's first 2-year-old stakes of the year, the five-furlong Malcolm Anderson on Saturday at Bay Meadows.

The field includes one stakes winner, Genuine Talent, who is 2 for 2 after scoring an upset in the Willard Proctor at Hollywood Park on May 27.

"This fits well for him," said trainer Danny Velasquez, who is looking forward to running Genuine Talent in next month's Hollywood Juvenile.

Genuine Talent is from the first crop of speedy Gibson County. Genuine Talent's dam has produced two other runners, both of whom are multiple winners.

Genuine Talent won at first asking in a two-furlong race on April 13 at Santa Anita. He was entered in the May Barretts sale by owner Jocelyn McKathan and did not meet his reserve. Genuine Talent came back to win the Proctor by 2 1/2 lengths. He dueled with 3-5 favorite Sequoia King, put him away, and drew off in a race far more impressive than its final time of 1:06.13 indicates.

"I was a little surprised," Velasquez said of Genuine Talent's effort. "Sometimes when they go head-and-head early, they don't finish well, but he did.

"The fact is he does have speed. Especially after winning at a quarter-mile, some horses think they just go during a race, but he doesn't try to run off with you. You can place him."

For now, Genuine Talent seems to be a sprinter, and Velasquez says he will take advantage of Genuine Talent's speed and try to "place him right."

While he does have a stakes victory, Genuine Talent doesn't have the highest Beyer in the field. That belongs to Love That Gin, who earned a 76 Beyer when he defeated maiden special weight company last out in his second start June 1. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, he scored a one-length win over pacesetter Zoning In, who held easily for second as the two pulled away down the stretch.

In his debut, Love That Gin ran second to Genuine Talent in the April 13 race at Santa Anita.

Nine of the 11 runners in the Malcolm Anderson have a victory, with Zoning In and Bwana Bull, a fast-finishing third in his debut, the only maidens entered. Hollendorfer, who also trains Bwana Bull, said Love That Gin would run, but he would decide later on Bwana Bull.

Hot Flame won his debut at two furlongs for Velasquez and McKathan's North Star Equine, then moved to Bob Baffert's stable after that win and faded to ninth in the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs.