08/02/2007 11:00PM

Southern invader gets Baze


SANTA ROSA, Calif. - As Efrain Miranda, trainer of Younique Cat, looked at the past performances of the nine 2-year-olds in Sunday's $50,000 Cavonnier Juvenile at the Sonoma County Fair racetrack, his eye focused on Whatever Whenever.

"It looks like he's coming up to take our money," Miranda said.

Whatever Whenever is one of three strong entrants in the Cavonnier Juvenile with Southern California ties.

Trained by Peter Miller, Whatever Whenever won his debut and finished third in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile on July 4 at Hollywood Park after leading in the stretch. Whatever Whenever looks good enough on paper to entice leading jockey Russell Baze to ride.

Also heading north is Gold No Silver, who won his debut under Baze on June 10 at Golden Gate Fields, and High Intellect, ninth in the July 25 Graduation Stakes at Del Mar after winning his debut.

While the Southern California-based runners may be favored, Younique Cat will make them work to earn the winner's share.

Younique Cat has shown improvement in each of his four races. He ran third behind Imaginary Sailor, Northern California's top 2-year-old, and Deputy Bertrando in the June 10 Lost in the Fog at Golden Gate Fields. He turned the tables on Deputy Bertrando in the July 1 Everett Nevin Alameda County Futurity when he finished second to Run Brother Ron.

Younique Cat was a $3,700 purchase at last September's Northern California sale at Pleasanton, attracting Miranda because of his "bright eye."

At the time, Miranda thought he'd be a solid claimer, but Younique Cat's first race, at two furlongs on April 4, told Miranda he was wrong.

"He broke good and got bumped, but he still kept trying the whole way," Miranda said. "That showed me a lot to get in trouble and keep trying. I knew all along he could run. I didn't know how good he'd be."

Miranda then won a hand of racetrack poker, dropping Younique Cat into a maiden claimer, which he won before his two stakes placings.

"I've been working to make him learn to come off the pace," Miranda said. "The last race at Pleasanton, we let him relax, and he came up running at the end."