02/11/2011 3:28PM

Jaycito to make return in San Vicente at Santa Anita

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Benoit & Associates
Jaycito is expected to make his 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 20.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Jaycito, winner of the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Hollywood Park last fall, will make his 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 20, trainer Bob Baffert said Friday.

Baffert had considered the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on March 12 for Jaycito’s first start of the year but has pushed the timetable forward.

“He’s ready to go in the San Vicente,” Baffert said.

Owned by Zayat Stable, Jaycito had one win in four starts last year when trained by Mike Mitchell. Jaycito finished seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6, a race in which he veered to the outside and was last until the final turn. Jaycito was transferred to Baffert shortly after the BC Juvenile.

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Jockey Martin Garcia will ride Jaycito in the Grade 2 San Vicente, Baffert said.

Baffert is considering the seven-furlong San Vicente Stakes for The Factor, who set a six-furlong track record of 1:06.98 here Dec. 26 in his second career start. The Factor was plagued by tender feet for part of January and has worked once since his maiden race win on Dec. 26. Baffert said another workout Monday will dictate whether The Factor can start in the San Vicente.

“He has to work to my liking,” Baffert said.

First Dude joins Baffert barn

Baffert added an important 4-year-old to his stable earlier this week when First Dude, who placed in six major stakes for 3-year-olds last year, arrived from Florida.

Owned by Don Dizney, First Dude has one win in 13 starts and earnings of $895,160. Previously trained by Dale Romans, First Dude was a troubled fourth as the 9-10 favorite in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Classic for California-breds and Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29.

Baffert said he has no immediate races in mind for First Dude, who was second in the Preakness Stakes and Pennsylvania Derby and third in the Blue Grass, Belmont Stakes, Haskell Invitational, and Travers Stakes last year.

“We’re just getting to know him,” Baffert said. “He looks good though.”