03/12/2008 11:00PM

Top three stretch out in San Felipe


ARCADIA, Calif. - Neither Bob Black Jack, Gayego, nor Georgie Boy has ever raced around two turns. Yet they figure to be the first three choices, not necessarily in that order, when they try to negotiate 1 1/16 miles, and six rivals, in the Grade 2, $200,000 San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday at Santa Anita.

All are accomplished sprinters. Each has won at least one sprint stakes at this meet, and they have six stakes wins among them, ranging from 5 1/2 to seven furlongs. But now they must ration that speed to prove they should remain on the road to the May 3 Kentucky Derby.

On your mark. Get set. Whoa!

"The thing that matters most is a good mental attitude. You can't get rank," said Kathy Walsh, who trains Georgie Boy. "He's going to have to be mentally on top of his game. He has to relax."

Georgie Boy has displayed an ability to sit and finish in his most significant victories, including the Del Mar Futurity and last month's San Vicente Stakes. Rafael Bejarano, who rode Georgie Boy in the seven-furlong San Vicente, is back aboard.

"If Rafael can communicate with him the first part and get him to settle, that will help," Walsh said. "He's a very intelligent horse."

Bob Black Jack should be the one to catch. In all three of his victories - including most recently over a souped-up track in the Sunshine Millions Dash - he has led from gate to wire.

"I think this horse can relax and sit," said Jim Kasparoff, who trains Bob Black Jack. "He has a good head on him. I've been working him with another horse, and he hasn't been getting rank at all."

Gayego has won twice in three starts, including the San Pedro Stakes going 6 1/2 furlongs last time out on Jan. 20. With his rail draw, and stalking style, he should get a good trip.

"I believe he can go two turns because of the way he runs," said Paulo Lobo, who trains Gayego. "He relaxes when he is racing. He relaxes when he is working. He's a very easy horse to be around. He does everything you ask. He has a very good mind."

Of the remaining six, the most significant are Shediak and Indian Sun, both of whom are attempting to prove they are as good on a synthetic surface as on grass.

Shediak was Group 1-placed in his native France. This is his first start since Oct. 7, on synthetic, and in the United States.

Indian Sun won a first-level grass allowance race last out after clunking up for a share in both the San Rafael and Robert Lewis stakes.