Updated on 09/15/2011 12:19PM

Where's Taylor? Back on bit at Hawthorne


STICKNEY, Ill. - Where's Taylor struggled through this winter, but the year still is young and he will renew his campaign Saturday at Hawthorne, where he faces nine rivals in the $50,000-added Sun Beau Stakes.

The Sun Beau will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the Hawthorne turf course, duplicating the circumstances under which Where's Taylor scored his first graded stakes win - long overdue - in the Grade 3 Robert F. Carey Memorial last fall.

But Where's Taylor, now 5, has not won a race since the Carey, and after failing as the favorite Jan. 4 in the Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds, he went to the sidelines with minor physical problems. Only recently has he gotten back into racing shape for his owners, Barry and Mark Golden.

His connections had envisioned a different kind of winter. Where's Taylor, a private purchase early in 2000, nearly pulled off an 18-1 upset that spring in the Grade 3 Explosive Bid Handicap. Trainer Mike Stidham hoped that Where's Taylor would run again, and run well, in this year's Explosive Bid, but when that race was run Where's Taylor had not yet even begun breezing for his return to the races.

He is breezing now. On May 24, Where's Taylor rocketed through a five-furlong work at Arlington in 58 seconds, and if he is anywhere near that sharp in Saturday's race, he will be tough to beat. Zoe Cadman, the leading rider here and a former exercise rider for Stidham, will ride Where's Taylor for the first time in a race. Cadman has worked the gelding on many occasions and was aboard for the recent five-eighths work.

"They wanted to put a good work into him," Cadman said. "He did it very easily."

"He really started coming around [last month] at Keeneland," said assistant trainer Hilary Pridham, who has worked closely with Where's Taylor and will saddle him Saturday. "When he feels good, he works fast."

Where's Taylor has demonstrated more class than his opponents Saturday, but Reno Rumble is a dangerous aging gelding with back class of his own. A 7-year-old trained by Chris Block, Reno Rumble has earned almost $325,000 in 28 starts on turf, and though his form deserted him this winter in Florida, he remains dangerous. Reno Rumble breaks from the rail and gets a new rider, Chris Emigh.

Galic Boy, winner of the Overage here May 5, and Ivar's Big Peaceful, a colt claimed for $100,000 over the winter, are the other most logical threats, though Ivar's Big Peaceful drew somewhat poorly in post 9.

The improving Intern, a recent allowance winner here, may set the early pace under jockey Jeremy Beasley.