Updated on 09/17/2011 10:55AM

Who's Bailey riding in Big Cap?


ARCADIA, Calif. - This much is certain about jockey Jerry Bailey's schedule in early March: He will travel to Santa Anita from Florida on March 1 for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap and return a week later to ride Composure in the Santa Anita Oaks.

Whether Bailey will ride Congaree or Medaglia d'Oro in the Big Cap remains to be seen.

Trainer Bob Baffert said Saturday that Congaree would be pointed to the meeting's richest race. Baffert said Bailey would have the ride.

Bailey's agent, Ron Anderson, said "We have not made a final decision."

Trainer Bobby Frankel said "I don't want to talk about it," when asked whether Medaglia d'Oro would start in the Big Cap. Frankel has stated in the past that he was considering the Big Cap or the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 29 in the Middle East.

Frankel is concerned about potential war between Iraq and the United States.

"I don't know what's going on," he said Saturday, referring to unrest in the region.

Baffert said Saturday that Congaree would not start in the Big Cap and the Dubai World Cup. "You can't do both," he said. "It's too hard."

Congaree and Medaglia d'Oro are the top two older horses to start at the current Santa Anita meeting. It is unlikely that both will start in the Big Cap. Medaglia d'Oro won his 4-year-old debut in the Strub Stakes on Feb. 1. A day later, Congaree extended his stakes winning streak to three in the San Antonio Handicap. Bailey rode both.

Either Congaree or Medaglia d'Oro would be a strong favorite in the Big Cap without the other in the race.

Aside from those two, the probables include defending champion Milwaukee Brew, Kudos, Piensa Sonando, Pleasantly Perfect, and Sligo Bay.

The 6-year-old Milwaukee Brew is attempting to become the first two-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap since John Henry (1981-82). Milwaukee Brew finished second to Congaree in the San Antonio Handicap.

An hour before Saturday's first race, three horses being pointed for stakes on March 1 had important workouts.

Trainer Richard Mandella worked two of his hopefuls for the Santa Anita Handicap - Kudos and Pleasantly Perfect.

Kudos breezed in company with a stablemate and was joined by Omega Code, the winner of the San Miguel Stakes over six furlongs on Jan. 12 who is being pointed to the one-mile San Rafael Stakes. The three were on even terms entering the final turn, but Kudos and Omega Code pulled clear in early stretch.

Omega Code finished in front and was given a six-furlong time of 1:13, breezing. Kudos went a mile in 1:39.40. He has not started since finishing second to Congaree in the San Pasqual Handicap on Jan. 4.

Pleasantly Perfect worked in company with a stablemate over seven furlongs. He started three lengths behind, and took over at the three-sixteenths pole, finishing in 1:25.60.

Pleasantly Perfect won the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap last October and finished third behind Congaree in the San Antonio Handicap on Feb. 2.

Longden funeral Feb. 24

Funeral services for jockey John Longden will be held on Feb. 24 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Arcadia, Calif. The church is located at the intersetction of Duarte and Holly, near Santa Anita.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Shoemaker Foundation, a racing charity, or to the hospice that cared for Longden prior to his death on Friday. The address: Hospice, 264 North Highlands Ave., Suite 4-B, Banning, Calif. 92220.

Debonair Joe gets a freshening

Skip to the Stone won his first race in nearly two years in a $70,000 allowance race on Friday against a field that was reduced to four by the late scratch of Debonair Joe.

A two-time graded stakes winner in December, Debonair Joe was withdrawn on Friday morning after he returned from a gallop and showed signs of "tying-up," according to trainer Juan Pablo Silva.

Debonair Joe was expected to be a contender in the one-mile allowance race after winning the Vernon Underwood Stakes and Malibu Stakes. Silva said Debonair Joe will be given a break of one to two weeks.

The 5-year-old Skip to the Stone races for a partnership and is trained by Baffert. Ridden by Laffit Pincay, Skip to the Stone led to midstretch, was passed by favored Cottage before the eighth pole, but rallied from a half-length deficit to win by a half-length. It was his first win since the Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes at Aqueduct in April 2001.

* There is no racing here on Wednesday. Racing resumes Thursday for a four-day racing week that includes two stakes - the $125,000 Las Flores Handicap over six furlongs for fillies and mares on Saturday and the $100,000 Baldwin Stakes for 3-year-olds over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course on Sunday.