02/13/2013 2:17PM

Santa Anita: Goldencents gearing up for San Felipe Stakes

Shigeki Kikkawa
Goldencents is being pointed to the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes on March 9 at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Goldencents worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 at Santa Anita on Wednesday, and trainer Doug O’Neill was not the only interested party in how the highly promising colt handled the exercise.

Jockey Kevin Krigger watched exercise rider Jonny Garcia work Goldencents and then headed back to O’Neill’s barn to check on his leading 3-year-old. Krigger then took a hands-on approach.

“You know it’s a big deal when your jockey hot walks him for 10 minutes,” O’Neill said.

Krigger has a right to stay interested in the development of Goldencents. The winner of the Grade 3 Sham Stakes last month, Goldencents is a top contender for the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes over 1 1/16 miles March 9. The Grade 2 San Felipe is a key prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby on April 6.

The San Felipe will be the first meeting between Goldencents and Flashback, winner of the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes on Feb. 6. Other candidates for the San Felipe are the maiden race winners Demonic and Kochees and the stakes-placed Hear the Ghost.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Wednesday, Goldencents worked alone. O’Neill timed him in 1:13. The official time of 1:13.40 equaled the fastest of 20 recorded works at the distance.

“He was just stretching his legs, doing it all on his own,” O’Neill said.

Owned by a partnership of Glenn Sorgenstein, Josh Kaplan, Dave Kenney, and University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, Goldencents has won 3 of 4 starts and $782,000. Last year, he won the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes in Louisiana and was second to champion Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park.

Mudflats set for San Vicente Stakes

O’Neill starts Mudflats in Sunday’s $150,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs. As of Wednesday, the projected field of six consists entirely of maiden race winners seeking their first stakes wins.

Mudflats, seventh in the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct on Jan. 5, will make his first start in California in the Grade 2 San Vicente. A gelding by Tapit, Mudflats won a seven-furlong maiden race at Aqueduct in his third career start.

Trainer Bob Baffert will have three runners – Belvin, Shakin It Up, and War Academy. Belvin and War Academy have not started in stakes. Shakin It Up was third of five in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes in November.

The field also includes the speedy Caballo del Cielo and the highly regarded maiden race winner Treasury Bill. Wednesday at Betfair Hollywood Park, Treasury Bill worked a half-mile in 49.20 seconds.

Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Maria Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles has an even smaller field, with six projected starters. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has three runners – the stakes winners Going for a Spin, Lady of Fifty, and Snow Fall. The other expected runners are Book Review, winner of the Grade  1 La Brea Stakes in December; Great Hot, who won the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland in 2011; and Private Affair, a stakes winner at Del Mar in 2011.