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Bejarano Back Aboard Bourbon Bay

Jockey Rafael Bejarano signs autographs the day before the Preakness

Rafael Bejarano has ridden Bourbon Bay nine times in the 6-year-old Sligo Bay gelding’s 23-race career, winning four times, including the marathon grass series of the San Luis Obispo Handicap, the San Luis Rey Handicap and the San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita in 2010, each a Grade II race.


“I think you can do anything you want with him,” Bejarano said upon scrutinizing the past performances of the San Marcos, which did not indicate an abundance of speed. “I’ve got a good post (outside) and I’ll have plenty of time to find a good position for my horse.


“It looks like only a couple of horses in the race have speed, so we’ll see. He can be on the lead but he doesn’t have to be on the lead. He can be close, but he’s going to run well.”


Trained by Neil Drysdale for owners David and Jill Heerensperger, Bourbon Bay has a 7-5-4 record from 23 starts with earnings of $779,536.


The field for the San Marcos: Utopian, Mike Smith, 15-1; Norvsky, Joe Talamo, 7-2; Sanagas, Joe Rosario, 8-5; Ashtar, Kevin Krigger, 20-1; The Usual Q.T., Victor Espinoza, 4-1; Slim Shadey, David Flores, 15-1; and defending champion Bourbon Bay, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2.


Worth Repeating, who had been listed at 8-1 on Jon White’s morning line, was scratched. “Coming back to the barn after schooling yesterday he kicked the fence and needed stitches in his right hind leg,” trainer Richard Mandella said. “It’s not serious, but obviously we couldn’t run him.”



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