05/29/2008 12:00AM

Mikayla's Baby fit for return


Mikayla's Baby, 4 for 4 in his 2-year-old campaign at Assiniboia Downs last year, takes his first step toward the $100,000 Manitoba Derby on Aug. 4 when he heads a field of eight in Saturday's $50,000 Golden Boy at Assiniboia Downs.

Named the champion 2-year-old male in Manitoba after winning his races last year by an average margin of almost eight lengths, Mikayla's Baby breaks from post 4 under Rohan Singh in the six-furlong Golden Boy.

A son of the Forty Niner stallion Pikepass, Mikayla's Baby capped his first season of racing by winning the one-mile Winnipeg Futurity in late September.

Mikayla's Baby has been working well this spring for trainer Aaron Sayler, including a five-furlong drill on May 18 of 59.80 seconds, the fastest of 21 works at the distance.

Mikayla's Baby used his early speed last year to be on or near the lead throughout his races. A pair of racing-fit Alberta invaders, however, will ensure speedy fractions and their fitness level just may give them the edge here Saturday.

Its Launch Time and Gone Grand both flashed speed last time out in the six-furlong President's Handicap at Stampede Park.

Gone Grand was in tight going into the first turn and had to be checked to avoid running up on heels, while Its Launch Time benefited and was a close second through a quick quarter in 22.20.

Its Launch Time, a two-time winner this year, ended up six lengths back in fourth but was moved up via disqualification to third. Gone Grand faded to be last of 10, but the winner, Star Prospector, was placed behind him for causing interference in the first turn.

Prior to the President's, Gone Grand had been campaigning at Santa Anita, where he defeated $20,000 claimers going six furlongs, earning an 81 Beyer Speed Figure.

From the Hill and Mr Exspeedient have already scored allowance victories locally this season, both from off the pace, and they may benefit from the expected quick early fractions.