03/14/2008 11:00PM

Georgie Boy finishes strong in San Felipe


ARCADIA, Calif. - On a day when favorites failed miserably in two other Kentucky Derby preps in Florida and Arkansas, Georgie Boy prevented a shutout when he successfully stretched out around two turns to capture the Grade 2, $200,000 San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Georgie Boy ($4.80) roared past Gayego with a breathtaking rush and won going away by three-quarters of a length. Bob Black Jack was another length back in third. The first three finishers all were sprint stakes winners trying two turns for the first time.

Georgie Boy, ridden by Michael Baze, completed 1 1/16 miles on the synthetic surface in 1:42.35, but the race was run much like a grass race, with a dawdling pace and then a mad dash to the finish through the final five-sixteenths of a mile.

Kathy Walsh, who trains Georgie Boy, said she "was a little concerned" how Georgie Boy would do on the stretch out, but was gratified to see him settle in third behind the slow pace of Bob Black Jack, who set fractions of 24.24 seconds, 48.75 seconds, and 1:13.02 through the first six furlongs.

Georgie Boy ran the final five-sixteenths of a mile in a little more than 29 seconds, which equates to a sub-24 second final quarter-mile.

"I was happy he did that with that pace," Walsh said. "If he gets more pace, he'd settle better. He had a tough time pulling him up."

Baze replaced Rafael Bejarano, who fractured two vertebra in an accident on Thursday.

"It's been a long week," Walsh said with a smile.

Walsh trains Georgie Boy for owner George Schwary, who also bred Georgie Boy, a gelding by Tribal Rule.

Georgie Boy has now won three straight races, including the Del Mar Futurity in September and last month's San Vicente Stakes. He has won four times in seven starts, and has finished in the money every time. All his races have been on a synthetic surface.

* A half-hour earlier, Polonius ($19.80) led from gate to wire when scoring a four-length victory in the $80,500 Pasadena Stakes for 3-year-old turf horses. Polonius, ridden by Jon Court, was timed in 1:34.12 for one mile over turf still rated firm despite a brief shower that hit the track minutes before the race. Ez Dreamer was second, one length in front of Afleet Ruler. Favored Sky Cape was fifth in the field of nine. Michael Pender trains Polonius for owner B.J. Wright.