ARCADIA, Calif. -- Georgie Boy beat Gayego by three-quarters of a length Saturday in the $200,000 San Felipe Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Michael Baze, Georgie Boy covered 1 1-16 miles in 1:42.35 as he, Gayego and Bob Black Jack—all going two turns for the first time—finished within 1 3/4 lengths of each other.
Baze replaced injured Rafael Bejarano aboard Georgie Boy, who boosted his Kentucky Derby prospects with the victory.
Georgie Boy tracked Bob Black Jack and Gayego through modest fractions and got boxed behind those two turning into the stretch. Baze waited to find room, then Georgie Boy split horses and came around Gayego to win.
The winner paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.60 as the 7-5 favorite. Gayego returned $4.60 and $3.40, while Bob Black Jack paid $3 to show.
Baze had not ridden Georgie Boy since a third-place finish in his maiden debut at Hollywood Park last June.
"He's matured dramatically since the last time I rode him," the 20-year-old jockey said. "Around the turn, I just had to wait, wait, wait, and, at the top of the lane, I was able to swing out and say 'goodbye."'
Walsh said Georgie Boy's future plans haven't been finalized. It was his third stakes victory, having won the Del Mar Futurity and the San Vicente.
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Georgie Boy's career earnings to $496,806, with four wins in seven starts.
Bejarano was replaced after he cracked two vertebrae in his neck in a riding accident Thursday. He's expected to be out three-to-four weeks.
Santa Anita, 9th Race - March 15, 2008