02/23/2013 2:08PM

Santa Anita: Guilt Trip should like Big Cap distance

Shigeki Kikkawa
Guilt Trip wins the 1 1/8-mile Strub under jockey Joe Talamo.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Guilt Trip left jockey Joe Talamo eager to see more after the colt’s win in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 2.

The opportunity will come in a race at the highest level – Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap. The Big Cap will be Guilt Trip’s first start over 1 1/4 miles and first stakes against older horses this year.

The distance is not a concern for Talamo.

“I think the more, the merrier,” Talamo said. “The way he ran the other day, he impressed me.”

In the Strub Stakes, for 4-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles, Guilt Trip closed from fourth in a field of six to win by 1 1/2 lengths as the 2-1 favorite. Owned by Gary and Mary West and trained by Bob Baffert, Guilt Trip tipped his ability in longer races with a fast-closing third in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes for 4-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 12.

Guilt Trip will run from off the pace in the Big Cap. Game On Dude, also trained by Baffert, will be favored, and a danger from the front. Game On Dude won the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap. He prepped for this year’s race with a win in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes over 1  1/8 miles on Feb. 3.

“Game On Dude will be tough,” Talamo said. “Hopefully, there will be some speed to go with him.”

If there is no pace, Talamo said he may have Guilt Trip more involved in the race in the first half-mile.

“If it sets up well, he’ll be tough,” he said. “He places himself. If they go slow, you can be closer.”

The Big Cap has an expected field of nine, including Called to Serve, Clubhouse Ride, Handsome Mike, John Scott, Richard’s Kid, Ron the Greek, and Stephanoatsee. Ron the Greek won the 2012 Big Cap, and his first start of 2013 – the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 19.

John Scott’s participation is not a certainty, trainer Carla Gaines said on Saturday. Gaines is considering a variety of races, including the $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes over 1 1/2 miles of turf on March 16. John Scott is a winner of 6 of 12 starts and $460,304.

Tres Borrachos earns a vacation

Tres Borrachos went past $1 million in career earnings with a tough win in a $65,000 allowance race on Friday, earning a mini-vacation.

Trainer Marty Jones said that Tres Borrachos will be given a break and pointed for the spring-summer meeting at Betfair Hollywood Park. The first stakes for older horses at that meeting is the $150,000 Mervyn Leroy Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on May 4.

In Friday’s race over a mile, Tres Borrachos ($7) disputed the lead throughout and held off a stubborn challenge from Hoorayforhollywood to win by a head in 1:35.53.

“He had to work for it,” Jones said. “It’s nice to see. We’ll put him away for a while. I imagine this will take something out of him. We’ll look at Hollywood.”

Owned by George Hicker and Button Stable, Tres Borrachos, 8, has won 5 of 45 starts and $1,021,143.