02/28/2013 4:57PM

Santa Anita notes: Caught Napping returns for Mitchell


ARCADIA, Calif. - Caught Napping needed a rest after finishing third in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf at Del Mar last September.

“He was going through normal 2-year-old things,” said Phil D’Amato, trainer Mike Mitchell’s assistant. “We let him develop. We think he’ll be a better 3-year-old.”

An update on Caught Napping’s condition will be known after Saturday’s $75,000 Baffle Stakes for 3-year-olds over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course. The Baffle has drawn a field of 10, including the 2012 sprint stakes winners Amarish and Native Treasure.

Caught Napping won two minor races over five furlongs on synthetic tracks in England last spring. The Oak Tree Juvenile Turf was his only start in this country. He closed from seventh in a field of nine to finish three-quarters of a length behind Dry Summer. On Feb. 23, Dry Summer won the Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland Park.

Caught Napping is owned by Jim Ford, and is expected to run well on Saturday.

“He should be ready to run off the break,” D’Amato said. “This is a good starting point. He won twice sprinting in England, so 6 1/2 furlongs might be a good trip.”

The field includes Procurement, who won an optional claimer on turf on Feb. 7, and two European imports – Horizon Sky and Tiger Day.

Tiger Day won three sprints in Italy, but was 11th in the Group 1 Gran Criterium there in October. “I think he washed out before his last race,” trainer Ben Cecil said. “He’s doing well enough. He’s working all right.”

** Retired jockey Chantal Sutherland will be part of TVG’s commentary team for Saturday’s Santa Anita Handicap coverage. Sutherland won the 2011 Big Cap on Game On Dude, the favorite on Saturday.