Both as a runner and a producer, Guard the Lady has been a flop.
She couldn't run without bleeding--finishing out of the money in her only start. As a broodmare, two of her first four offspring died and a third fractured a knee recently and was given away as a jumper.
Now, however, because her fourth foal has been tops in the slop, Guard the Lady is no longer a flop. Running on an off track for the third straight time, Drouilly's Boy, the result of a mating between the stakes-winning Drouilly and Guard the Lady, remained undefeated Tuesday, winning the $80,550 San Miguel Stakes by five lengths before 15,606 at Santa Anita.
Drouilly's Boy didn't have to beat Mi Preferido--the undefeated Hollywood Juvenile Championship winner having been scratched because of the the gooey going--but there were some other 2-year-olds in the field who may have futures.
Tsarbaby, who went off the 19-10 favorite, had already been second at Belmont Park to Forty Niner and Tejano, two of the early favorites for the 1988 Kentucky Derby, and he also owned a stakes victory on an off track at Santa Anita in November.
But Tsarbaby, after running third most of the way in the six-furlong race, finished fourth.
Sam Who was the 2-1 second choice, based on a first-start win in the mud at Hollywood Park three weeks ago and a sensational workout at Santa Anita on Christmas morning.
At the top of the stretch, Sam Who was outside the front-running Drouilly's Boy and appeared to be in a passing gear, but the winner had more stamina through the lane and Sam Who's jockey, Martin Pedroza, had dropped his whip near the quarter pole.
Sam Who wound up third, missing second by a head to Mr. Game Player and finishing a nose in front of Tsarbaby. Other scratches besides Mi Preferido were Sweet N Go and Do Right by Dudley, narrowing the field to six.
Timed in an excellent 1:09 4/5, Drouilly's Boy paid $16, $6 and $3.60 and earned $46,800 for his owners, who are trainer Bill Spawr, Jim Franklin and John Sullivan. The other payoffs were $3.80 and $3.40 for Mr. Game Player and $3 for Sam Who.
Frank Olivares, who also rode the mud-loving Drouilly, was aboard Drouilly's Boy for the first time. Olivares was given a breeding in Drouilly by his owner, Dan Agnew, so he and Spawr, who had bought Guard the Lady, sent her to the stallion.
"Think Drouilly's Boy will get a mud mark (in the Daily Racing Form) now?" Olivares said after Tuesday's race. "He acts like he wants to go farther, especially if it's muddy. I'd rather have been outside the other horse today, but I really liked the way he ran inside. It's pretty good for a 2-year-old to do that."
Spawr, 48, had never won a stake at Santa Anita, and this was his first stake win since Mr. Gennaro won the Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park in April of 1986.
At 1:30 Tuesday, Spawr was thinking about adding Drouilly's Boy to the list of scratched horses. An option would have been to run him Saturday in the $40,000 Determine Stakes at Bay Meadows.
"I didn't think we had a chance in this race," Spawr said. "But then I heard that (Wayne) Lukas might be running three horses in the Determine, and there's another horse up there (Guy Mackee) who's won seven out of nine."
But then it started raining at Santa Anita, where the purse was twice the amount Bay Meadows would be offering.
"We don't really enter this horse with the idea that it will rain," Spawr said. "But maybe he's got powers that we don't know anything about."
Horse Racing Notes
Martin Pedroza thought Sam Who would win the San Miguel easily. "He couldn't get hold of the track," the jockey said. "He was really slipping and trying to get out in the stretch. I don't think they could beat him on a fast track." . . . New York trainer LeRoy Jolley, who has Tsarbaby, has 24 horses in his Santa Anita barn, double what he brought to California a couple of months ago, and will stay here for the rest of the current season. "The purses at Gulfstream Park (in Florida) will be better than they were at Hialeah," Jolley said, "but the purses in California are so good that you just have to stay." . . . Sacahuista is now only a 50-50 possibility to run in Saturday's La Brea Stakes. Trainer Wayne Lukas doesn't like the idea of going from 1 miles down to 7 furlongs with his Breeders' Cup Distaff winner, whereas Very Subtle, winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint, would be moving up from 6 furlongs.