03/07/2011 4:18PM

San Felipe a proving ground for Jaycito


ARCADIA, Calif - Jaycito will make his 3-year-old debut, and first start for trainer Bob Baffert, in Saturday’s $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita.

Baffert admits that he has concerns about how Jaycito will behave in the Grade 2 race that is a key prep for the $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 9.

In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs last November, Jaycito swerved sharply to the outside on the backstretch and eventually finished seventh, 16 lengths behind race winner Uncle Mo.

Jaycito has been well behaved in recent workouts, Baffert said, including five furlongs in 59.80 seconds on Sunday, but the issue is in the back of Baffert’s mind.

“So far, he’s minding his manners, but you don’t know what he’ll do in a race,” Baffert said. “It will be interesting. We’ll learn a lot about Jaycito.”

In Sunday’s workout, Jaycito worked in company with Awesome Patriot, who also starts for Baffert in the San Felipe, which is run over 1 1/16 miles. Awesome Patriot has not started since winning an allowance race over a mile on Dec. 29.

“I had Jaycito behind and taking on dirt, so I think we’re all set,” Baffert said.

Owned by Zayat Stable, Jaycito has yet to start for Baffert, having been previously trained by Mike Mitchell. For Mitchell, Jaycito was second in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 8 and won the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Hollywood Park. Jaycito joined Baffert’s stable in November, shortly after the Breeders’ Cup.

The San Felipe is the last major prep in Southern California before the Santa Anita Derby, and is expected to have a strong field.

Comma to the Top, the winner of the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity in December, and two other stakes last fall, will make his second start of the year, preceded by a fourth as the 1-2 favorite in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 12.

Comma to the Top has had two workouts since that race, including a six-furlong breeze in 1:13.80 at Santa Anita on Sunday. The workout was Comma to the Top’s first over Santa Anita’s sand-and-clay track. The 3-year-old gelding is based with trainer Peter Miller’s stable at Hollywood Park.

Jockey Corey Nakatani, who will ride Comma to the Top on Saturday, was aboard for the workout.

“Corey loved the way he worked over it,” Miller said. “It looks like he likes it.”

Miller timed Comma to the Top in 38.16 seconds for the first three furlongs, and a half-mile in 49.82 seconds. He timed Comma to the Top galloping out seven furlongs in 1:27.20.

The San Felipe is expected to have a field of nine. Aside from Awesome Patriot, Comma to the Top and Jaycito, the probable starters are Albergatti, Bench Points, Jakesam, Premier Pegasus, Runflatout and Surrey Star. On Monday at Santa Anita, Runflatout worked six furlongs in 1:10.40, the best of 14 works at the distance, and Albergatti breezed a half-mile in 49.80.

Switch works for Santa Margarita

Switch, who has won two Grade 1 sprints at this meeting, worked seven furlongs in 1:25 on Sunday, preparing for Saturday’s $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes.

Trained by John Sadler, Switch will make her first start over 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita, the championship race of the meeting for older fillies and mares. Earlier this winter, Switch won the La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Dec. 26 and the Santa Monica Stakes for older fillies and mares on Jan. 30.

Switch will be favored against a small field expected to include Blind Luck, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2010; Always a Princess, the winner of two Grade 2 races at this meeting; Miss Match, the winner of the 2008 Argentine Oaks; and Vision in Gold and St Trinians, the first and third-place finishers of the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes on Feb. 12.

Misremembered blazes

The Baffert-trained Misremembered won the $80,200 Santana Mile in near-track-record time of 1:33.50 on Sunday, the 5-year-old’s first start since a win in the 2010 Santa Anita Handicap.

Minor injuries kept Misremembered from starting in 2010 after the Big Cap, a race that Baffert hoped to have the horse ready for this year but ran out of time, he said. Baffert won the Big Cap with Game On Dude on Saturday.

Misremembered won the Santana Mile by three lengths with little urging from jockey Martin Garcia.

“He’s so much better this year than last year,” Baffert said. “I’m sort of upset at myself that I didn’t have him ready for the Big Cap.”

In the winner’s circle, Baffert said Misremembered could be a candidate for the $10 million Dubai World Cup in the United Arab Emirates on March 26, but stopped well short of committing to that race.