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San Miguel tempts Lukas
ARCADIA, Calif. - Despite an outstanding maiden win on Dec. 26 that earned a 102 Beyer Speed Figure, the 3-year-old Going Wild has received scant attention. That may change Sunday at Santa Anita if D. Wayne Lukas starts the colt in the $100,000 San Miguel Stakes.
The six-furlong San Miguel is not the first choice for Lukas or the colt's owners, Bob and Beverly Lewis. But considering the sprint has fallen apart - neither Fusaichi Samurai nor Roman Ruler will start - Lukas said Tuesday he will reconsider the San Miguel for Going Wild, a $400,000 2-year-old.
"My first inclination is to wait for the mile race Jan. 15," Lukas said, referring to the Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes. "His style and pedigree indicates to me he's a two-turn horse."
Lukas explained that if he thought his horse had a distinct advantage over the other probables for the San Miguel, "then I need to look at it seriously. I would rather be 3-2 than 10-1."
If he starts, Going Wild will be favored in the San Miguel. He won his fourth career start Dec. 26, running six furlongs in a quick 1:08.64.
"He was cruising at the end, and the nice thing about him is he's out of a Strawberry Road mare," Lukas said. "I told Bob Lewis we may have to stretch him out in order to see the best part of him."
A half-mile workout Monday on the Santa Anita training track was timed in 47.80 seconds by clockers, and Lukas said, "He was under a strong hold. I don't have any problem with wheeling him back."
Bushwacker's trainer, Bill Currin, faces a dilemma in the San Miguel with his speedster, who finished second behind Declan's Moon in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue before being eased after his saddle slipped in the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 18. Bushwacker is a Florida-bred who would be among the favorites Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park in the $250,000 Sunshine Millions Dash.
"I have some decisions to make," Currin said Tuesday about Bushwacker. "He's good, and he's ready to go. The only smack about running in the [San Miguel] is they'll be head-and-head."
Bushwacker and Going Wild have similar up-front running styles, and a pace battle would compromise both. Besides, there are bigger races ahead. But can Bushwacker run long?
"It's too early to tell," Currin said. "I think he'll go a distance. He's a nice horse with freakish ability."
Bushwacker won his debut in a turf sprint with a 74 Beyer, then improved to 94 finishing second in the seven-furlong Prevue. A son of Outflanker, Bushwacker worked five furlongs in 58.60 seconds on Sunday at Hollywood Park. The time was the best of the morning by one full second, and was accomplished on an unusually busy work tab. There were no fewer than 106 horses who worked five furlongs Sunday at Hollywood.
Other possible San Miguel starters are Fallfree, General John B, Seize the Day, and So Long Birdie.
San Vicente target for Consolidator
The most accomplished 3-year-old trained by Lukas and owned by the Lewises is Consolidator, who is gearing up for a winter-spring campaign. Winner of the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity on Oct. 9 at Keeneland, Consolidator, a $1.25 million son of Storm Cat finished fourth by 2 1/4 lengths in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. As it turns out, the deck was stacked against Consolidator going in.
"There were three things," Lukas said. "First, he's a May 13 baby, and he was behind the others a little bit. Secondly, he was coming back in three weeks off a monster effort. I would have liked to have had four or five weeks, especially from a May baby. The other thing is, he popped a quarter crack in the race. So he didn't run bad at ball."
Consolidator has posted two workouts on the comeback trail, a three-furlong work Dec. 24, and a half-mile work Jan. 2. Lukas is aiming him for a February comeback, most likely in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at seven furlongs on Feb. 13, followed by the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 19. Consolidator won two races and $480,260 from seven starts at age 2.
Said Lukas: "He's a nice horse; he'll be one of the ones."
Lukas will keep Consolidator and Going Wild apart, and said Going Wild's schedule was likely to include the Grade 2 Santa Catalina Stakes on March 5.
Revealed fit for Santa Ysabel
Sweet Catomine is the marquee filly nominated to the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes on Sunday, but another filly owned by Marty Wygod has even more to gain in the 1 1/16-mile race. Revealed won her debut Nov. 21 at Hollywood Park in a 6 1/2-furlong sprint, and Sunday will try to become a graded stakes winner.
Rain interrupted Revealed's training following her maiden win, but trainer John Shirreffs said this time "we've gotten our works in, we're okay."
Tuesday at 5 a.m., Revealed jogged a half-mile and galloped a mile on the Santa Anita training track, and following a six-furlong workout on Saturday she is ready to go. She earned an 84 Beyer winning her debut, and the filly she beat, Hot Attraction, returned to win.
Jon Court will ride Revealed in a small Santa Ysabel field that is expected to include Sweet Catomine, Island Escape, and She Sings.
Will San Gorgonio stay on turf?
Persistent rain continues to affect the turf schedule, leaving the Grade 2 San Gorgonio Handicap on Saturday in a state of flux. Grade 1 winner Megahertz was assigned 121 pounds for the 1 1/8-mile turf race, but is not likely to start. Ask for the Moon will start under 119 pounds if the race stays on grass, while longshot Uraib will start on either surface at 115 pounds.
"We're still running, rain or shine," said Sandy Shulman, Uraib's trainer. "She trains great on dirt."
Uraib, upset winner of two minor turf stakes late in 2004, is one of several turf horses that Shulman has been forced to sit on. He said he has four European imports who are ready to run. The last turf race to be run at wet Santa Anita, however, was way back on the second day of the meet, Dec. 27.
Total Impact tops San Pasqual
Hollywood Gold Cup winner Total Impact was assigned 120 pounds for the Grade 2 San Pasqual Handicap on Saturday, a 1 1/16-mile dirt race for older horses. Lundy's Liability was given 119, while Truly a Judge, winner of last Saturday's San Gabriel Handicap, was assigned 118. Truly a Judge has won 4 of his last 5, and trainer David Bernstein said he would not run again until the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap on Feb. 6.