Wilko ready to return in Larkspur

Updated: December 7, 2005, 8:07 PM ET
By Steve Andersen | Daily Racing Form

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Wilko, the winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, will be supplemented to Saturday's $50,000 Larkspur Stakes at Golden Gate Fields. Trainer Craig Dollase said the Larkspur, a six-furlong race, will serve as a prep race to the $250,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

Unraced since finishing 12th in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in May, Wilko has been working steadily since late October, including a three-furlong breeze in 37 seconds Wednesday at Hollywood Park.

Even though the time of the workout may seem slow by Southern California standards, it equaled the fifth-fastest of 16 works at the distance over a course that many trainers said was deep.

"I think this race can be a little confidence-builder," Dollase said of the Larkspur. "We think this is a matter of getting a race under his belt."

Corey Nakatani will have the mount.

Owned by Paul Reddam and Susan Roy, Wilko has won 3 of 16 starts and $1,039,074. The BC Juvenile is Wilko's only win in six starts in the U.S. He was third in the Hollywood Futurity and Santa Anita Derby and sixth in the Kentucky Derby. Wilko underwent ankle surgery in May.

Dollase said he is not greatly concerned about the 16-day turnaround between the Larkspur and the Malibu. He noted that Wilko ran three times in 16 days when he was a 2-year-old racing in England, a span that included a win and two second-place finishes.