11/17/2010 3:46PM

Jaycito now in Baffert stable

Benoit & Associates
Jaycito won the Grade 1 Norfolk for Mike Mitchell, but is now being trained by Bob Baffert.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Jaycito, the winner of the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Hollywood Park in October and seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6, was transferred from trainer Mike Mitchell to Bob Baffert earlier this week, the trainers said on Wednesday.

Owned by Ahmad Zayat, Jaycito has one victory in four starts, and has earned $210,000. He is considered one of the top 2-year-old males in Southern California.

Jaycito moved to Baffert’s stable on Monday. Wednesday, Baffert said he has no definite plans for Jaycito, but did not rule out a start in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 18.

“He needs a little freshening,” Baffert said. “I’ll know more in a week. He’s not in training right now.”

Mitchell said he no longer has any horses for Zayat.

“It’s the business we’re in,” he said. “I’ve gotten horses like that and I’ve lost horses like this. It’s Mr. Zayat’s decision and I’ll leave it at that. You hate to lose a horse like that but it comes with the territory. It is something that happens.”

Zayat, 48, formed his stable in 2005 and has had horses with Baffert for much of that time. Together, they have campaigned such horses as Pioneerof the Nile, who won the 2009 Santa Anita Derby and was second in that year’s Kentucky Derby, and Zensational, the winner of three Grade 1 sprints in Southern California in 2009.

Zayat has switched trainers with his major horses in the past. Pioneerof the Nile was trained by Bill Mott for his first four starts before being moved to Baffert in late 2008, prior to a win in the CashCall Futurity.

In February, Zayat’s stable declared bankruptcy and underwent a Chapter 11 reorganization that was approved by a New Jersey bankruptcy court during the summer.

In the BC Juvenile on Nov. 6, Jaycito finished 16 lengths behind race winner Uncle Mo. Ridden by Mike Smith, Jaycito drifted toward the middle of the track when the field entered the backstretch in the race over 1 1/16 miles, and ended up racing on the rail in the stretch.

By Victory Gallop, Jaycito was purchased for $110,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale. After finishing second in his debut at Del Mar on Aug. 21, Jaycito finished second to J P’s Gusto in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity over seven furlongs on Sept. 8.

In his first start around two turns, Jaycito won the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park on Oct. 2, a victory that led to him being the 5-1 third choice in the BC Juvenile.