01/17/2009 1:00AM

Nownownow gives Biancone first comeback win


ARCADIA, Calif. - Nownownow was one of the more promising members of Patrick Biancone's stable when he began a one-year suspension for possession of an illegal substance in October 2007.

Nearly 15 months later, Biancone is back in training, and Nownownow remains at the top of that list.

Saturday, Nownownow gave Biancone his first winner since he returned from suspension last fall in the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita. The victory was a surprise to bettors, who sent off Nownownow as an 18-1 outsider.

The race was marred when Madeo was pulled up on the backstretch. The winner of the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby last August, Madeo was vanned off with a possible injury to his right foreleg, according to track stewards. Further details of his condition were not immediately known.

Nownownow ($38.40) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.45, rallying from ninth in a field of 11 to win by 2 3/4 lengths over 17-1 Dakota Phone. Wishful Tomcat, a three-time stakes winner in New York last fall, finished third. Slew's Tiznow, the 9-5 favorite, closed from eighth to finish fourth.

The Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes was Nownownow's first stakes win since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Monmouth Park in October 2007. At the time, Biancone was days into his suspension for possession of cobra venom, and Nownownow was being trained by Francois Parisel. In 2008, Nownownow was trained by David Wachman in Ireland and Jason Orman in California. He was winless in five starts for those trainers.

Nownownow rejoined Biancone's stable in December, prior to finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes here on Dec. 26.

"Fortunately, the people that trained him while I was away took good care of him," Biancone said.

For the San Fernando, Nownownow added blinkers. Biancone considered the San Fernando a prep for the $250,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles here Feb. 7.

"I think the little blinkers helped," Biancone said. "The plan was to have him ready for the Strub. We'll see how he comes out of that."

Owned by Fab Oak Stable, Nownownow has won 3 of 13 starts and $781,024.