03/02/2013 1:41PM

Santa Anita notes: Goldencents works for San Felipe

Barbara D. Livingston
Goldencents works six furlongs in 1:11.60 at Santa Anita on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif.– Goldencents is making a habit of fast workouts – and fast races.

A winner of stakes at Delta Downs and Santa Anita in his last two starts, Goldencents breezed six furlongs in 1:11.60 at Santa Anita on Saturday, preparing for next Saturday’s $300,000 San Felipe Stakes.

The workout was the latest in a sequence of quick works by the colt and left the ever-optimistic trainer Doug O’Neill certain that Goldencents is ready for the San Felipe.

“I just needed to see him switching leads, striding out and stretching out well,” he said. “I saw what I wanted to see.

“This is a big event for us on Saturday. I think we’re ready. I liked his final breeze today.”

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The San Felipe will be a key test for Goldencents, who has emerged as O’Neill’s best chance to win the Kentucky Derby for the second consecutive year at Churchill Downs on May 4. The Grade 2 San Felipe is run over 1 1/16 miles and will include Flashback, who has emerged as one of trainer Bob Baffert’s best hopes for the Kentucky Derby.

O’Neill and Baffert were first and second in the 2012 Kentucky Derby with I’ve Have Another and Bodemeister.

Goldencents has won 3 of 4 starts and $782,000 for the partnership of Glenn Sorgenstein, Josh Kaplan, Dave Kenney, and University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. By Into Mischief, Goldencents was second to 2012 champion 2-year-old Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last October and won the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot in Louisiana in November.

In his only start this year, Goldencents won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes over a mile here on Jan. 5.

The San Felipe has a projected field of eight.

Other probable starters are Hear the Ghost, Kochees, Omega Star, Salutos Amigos, Tiz a Minister, and possibly Den’s Legacy, who was second to Goldencents in the Sham.

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Regular rider Kevin Krigger has the mount on Goldencents, who is likely to race from midpack, O’Neill said.

“I’d like to see him come from off the pace,” he said. “If it’s an average pace, we’ll be on the pace. We can run our race. Kevin knows our colt so well.”

Late announcement could draw fine

The California Horse Racing Board is expected to investigate the circumstances surrounding a late announcement that the 3-year-old Indian Classic was racing as a gelding for the first time in Friday’s sixth race.

The public was informed 20 minutes to post time that Indian Classic had been gelded since his last start. Indian Classic ($6) won the six-furlong maiden race as the second choice in the betting.

Trainers are required to state that horses are racing for the first time as geldings when entries are taken. Entries for Friday’s program were taken on Feb. 24. In the minutes before the announcement, Indian Classic’s trainer, Hector Palma, was paged several times by track stewards.

In recent years, several trainers have been fined $1,000 for failing to disclose at entry time that horses have been recently gelded. First-time geldings often show improved performances.

Willyconker may race at Keeneland

Willyconker, the winner of the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile in 2012, could make his next start at Keeneland in April after winning an optional claimer on Thursday, O’Neill said.

“He was in dire need of a confidence boost,” O’Neill said. “We’ll go up the ladder with him.”

A 6-year-old gelding, Willyconker has won 8 of 26 starts and $423,550. One possible race for Willyconker is the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile on turf on April 12, a race that could draw 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan.