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Jan 12, 2006

Stevie Wonderboy begins campaign Saturday


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Stevie Wonderboy, winner of the 2005 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, will begin his road to the Kentucky Derby Saturday. He is the pre-race favorite for the $150,000 San Rafael Stakes at San Anita, which has drawn six starters.

Contested at one mile, the San Rafael will be the colt's first race around two turns.

"We were hoping for a seven-eighths (of a mile) comeback race", said trainer Doug O'Neill, "The fact that this is a mile, sooner or later we'd have to stretch him out to two turns."

Owned by Merv Griffin, Stevie Wonderboy won three of his five starts in 2005 and earned better than $1 million. The three-year-old will start from post five with Garrett Gomez in the saddle.

Brother Derek, with Alex Solis riding, is considered the top challenger to the favorite. Brother Derek will break from post two and joins Stevie Wonderboy as co-highweight at 122 pounds. The colt is owned by Cecil Peacock and trained by Dan Hendricks.

Like his rival, Brother Derek won three of five starts as a two-year-old, and has earnings of more than $500,000. Last year he captured both the Norfolk Stakes and the Hollywood Futurity, both of which were two-turn races.

"The only edge I know is I've been around turns twice and he hasn't," said Hendricks.

Rounding out the field for the San Rafael, in post position order, are Woody Be Quick, M.J. Pkay, Wanna Runner and Sailors Sunset.

Also set for Saturday is the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes for four-year-olds. Nine horses have been entered with seven betting interests.

Greeley's Galaxy will try to improve off his seventh-place finish in last month's Malibu Stakes. He will start from post four and is coupled with Osidy, who will break from post three. Both are owned by B. Wayne Hughes, with Warren Stute training Greeley's Galaxy and Richard Mandella conditioning Osidy.

Kent Desormeaux will ride Greeley's Galaxy and Osidy will have Solis in the saddle.

Eight of the nine runners will carry 116 pounds in the 1 1/16 mile race. Greeley's Galaxy will carry 120 pounds.

Retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron will be honored by Santa Anita on Saturday. A bust will be unveiled at the racetrack after the running of the second race.

McCarron joins John Longden, Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr. in being so honored.

"Chris McCarron has always been the embodiment of the best that racing has to offer," said Santa Anita general manager George Haines. "Chris was always able to maintain his focus and conduct himself in an entirely first-class manner."

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