02/21/2009 12:00AM

Georgie Boy still on upswing

Benoit & Associates
Georgie Boy enters the San Carlos on Saturday at Santa Anita off a powerful win in the Sunshine Millions Sprint.

ARCADIA, Calif. - As Georgie Boy has gotten older, he has become more amenable to what trainer Kathy Walsh is trying to accomplish, getting him to calm down and save his energy for when it matters most. Sure, he won the Del Mar Futurity at age 2, and the San Vicente Stakes and San Felipe Stakes last year at age 3, but based on his most recent win last time out, in the Sunshine Millions Sprint, his best days still could be ahead of him.

Georgie Boy closed with a furious rush under jockey Garrett Gomez in the Sunshine Millions Sprint. He is reunited with Gomez on Saturday, when he heads a field of six in the Grade 2, $150,000 San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita.

The San Carlos is for open company, unlike the restricted race in which Georgie Boy last competed. And he will be moving from six furlongs to seven. But he is obviously in good form. This will be his third start of the meet, and his fourth race since returning from a seven-month layoff. Drawn in post 5 in a field of 6, he figures to get an ideal trip.

"His first two races after he came back, he wasn't settling," Walsh said Thursday. "We've worked on trying to get him to settle down. He's still strong, but it's getting easier to work with him as he matures. He's better on the outside. He wants to get too keen early in his races."

In the Sunshine Millions, Georgie Boy fell farther back than usual the first quarter-mile. "He didn't really handle the track down the backstretch," Walsh said. "He wasn't getting a good hold of it."

Gomez didn't panic. He let Georgie Boy gather himself, then took Georgie Boy to the rail, and Georgie Boy closed like a rocket.

Walsh, who is based at Hollywood Park, said the recent wet weather interrupted her work schedule with Georgie Boy.

"He missed a work, but I think everyone out here is in the same boat," Walsh said.

Halo Najib comes off a third-place finish in the six-furlong Palos Verdes Handicap on Jan. 25, which was his first start since August and his first start for trainer Mike Mitchell.

Mutadda arrives from Fair Grounds, where he won the Gaudin Memorial on Jan. 10 for trainer Tom Amoss. He has just one win in five starts on synthetic surfaces.

Past the Point faded to finish seventh in the 1 1/16-mile San Pasqual Handicap on Jan. 10. This will be his first race around one turn since a maiden win at Churchill Downs in May 2007.

"It's something I've wanted to do with him for a long time," said Eoin Harty, who trains Past the Point.

"With the exception of the Woodward," in which Past the Point was second to Curlin, "he has promised so much and delivered less. We'll try something different by cutting back in distance."