02/12/2008 12:00AM

Sea of Pleasure heads Sophomore


SAN MATEO, Calif. - When High Resolve improved her record to 5 for 5 in winning the Princess Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Bay Meadows last Saturday, there was some feeling that this Saturday's Sophomore Stakes for 3-year-olds would not live up to that performance.

But it may.

The race could have an equally strong favorite in Sea of Pleasure, a Gary Stute-trained colt who looks as dominant as High Resolve did for trainer Greg Gilchrist.

Although he is not undefeated, Sea of Pleasure, a Derby-nominated son of Sea of Secrets, has won 2 of 3 starts and ran second after setting a brisk pace in the 6 1/2-furlong San Pedro on Jan. 20 at Santa Anita. As with High Resolve, Russell Baze will be aboard.

Stakes winners Run Brother Ron, Topper Shopper, Nevada Worrier, and Vadheim also are entered Saturday, but Sea of Pleasure's twin 95 Beyer Speed Figures dwarf the numbers of all but Nevada Worrier, who earned a 92 when fourth in the Sunshine Millions Dash behind record-setting Bob Black Jack.

High Resolve likely to ship out

Baze had an easy time with High Resolve, who broke from the rail and smoothly moved up to grab the lead by the half-mile pole. In her five starts, she has been on the lead at every call.

It's hard to say if she absolutely needs the lead to win. Gilchrist expected and wanted her to show her speed from the rail in the Princess.

"In a couple of her races, there's been speed drawn inside her," Gilchrist said. "I've told Russell that he didn't need to go for the lead with the outside post, but she's gotten the lead every time."

There are no more sprint stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Bay Meadows, so Gilchrist will start checking condition books around the country looking for a race around the middle of March.

"We'll probably have to go somewhere, but it's time for her to get kicked out of the nest," he said.

High Resolve has already won at Calder and Turf Paradise and doesn't seem to mind traveling.

Kaenel takes first three Monday

Bay Meadows held its first Monday card this week, which worked out nicely for Kyle Kaenel, who gave his fellow jockeys a riding clinic while winning the opening triple.

In the first race, he put Newton John on the lead as expected in a $10,000 claimer at 1 1/16 miles. The fractions were brisk as Dr. Einstein pressed him all the way, but Kaenel was able to get his mount to relax. Though headed in the lane by Dr. Einstein, Newton John re-rallied, as Kaenel went to a left-handed whip along the rail, and was edging clear late.

In the second, Kaenel guided Doubloon City to her fifth straight victory, stalking and rallying between pacesetting Fargo's Legacy and Sararah Jr. into the lane. He kept Doubloon City going in the $25,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares at one mile, holding off Sararah Jr. by a nose. Favored Plata Quemada had no speed on a day when speed was playing strongly, but did finish best for third.

In the third, Kaenel popped the gate with Whya Da Whya in a $12,500 maiden claimer at 5 1/2 furlongs, as the 5-year-old gelding, who was coming off a 14-month layoff for trainer Brian Koriner, proved much the best in a wire-to-wire win.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer won back-to-back four-way shakes to claim the winners of the first two races.

* Jockey Joe Castro, dumped by Charming Surprise in the post parade before Monday's fourth race, is listed as day-to-day with an ankle sprain.