Even though Isitingood has won half of his 16 starts on the main track, turf may be what the 6-year-old son of Crusader Sword wanted all along.
Making only his second start on the grass and prepping for the Santa Anita Handicap next month, Isitingood went out and set a world record.
Sent right to the front from his inside post by jockey David Flores, who turned 29 Wednesday, the 2-1 second choice in the $71,000 Bart Stakes completed a mile in 1 minute 32 seconds.
In beating Via Lombardia by three-quarters of a length, trainer Bob Baffert’s horse bettered the main track record of 1:32 1/5 set by Dr. Fager on Aug. 24, 1968, at Arlington Park. The old record on turf of 1:32 2/5 was set by Expensive Decision on Oct. 8, 1990, at Belmont Park and equaled there 11 months later by Known Ranger.
Owned by Terry Henn and Mike Pegram, Isitingood hadn’t raced since a Nov. 29 win in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. Before that, he had won three of his previous four starts in 1996.
Beau Jingles, the 8-5 favorite in the Bart, finished third, three lengths behind Via Lombardia.
Mud Route, perhaps California’s best Kentucky Derby hope, won’t run in the $100,000 San Vicente Stakes on Saturday.
Trainer Ron McAnally, who also has Hello, the upset winner of last Sunday’s Santa Catalina Stakes in his first start on dirt, will wait for the one-mile San Rafael Stakes on March 2.
Still, the seven-furlong San Vicente is an interesting race, especially since it marks the return of Silver Charm, who hasn’t run since winning the Del Mar Futurity last September.
A winner of two of three starts, all at Del Mar, Silver Charm has had some setbacks that have delayed his return until now and he is coming back at a difficult distance.
Funontherun may be the 3-year-old to beat Saturday, provided he runs as well on a fast track as he did in the mud last month.
Making his first start since Del Mar, the gray son of Runaway Groom beat maidens by 11 lengths on Jan. 5, covering the six furlongs in 1:09. He is trained by Mel Stute for owner Herb Alpert. Others expected in the San Vicente are Photarc, Celtic Warrior, Esteemed Friend, Free House, Latin Dancer, Red and Stolen Gold.