Speedway Stable’s Collected was the facile winner of Saturday’s G2 Californian Stakes, powering away from his rivals with ease in the stretch to win by at least five lengths at the wire. The 4-year-old son of City Zip, ridden by Martin Garcia for trainer Bob Baffert, covered nine furlongs over Santa Anita’s fast main track in 1:47.73, improving his 2017 record to two wins from two starts without blinkers.
Collected broke on top of the five-horse field, which was stunted by the very late scratch of his stablemate, Cupid, approximately one hour before post time. From the center of the field, Prime Attraction rushed up the outside to take over the lead from Collected approaching the first turn. Prime Attraction led Collected by a half-length through fractions of :23.23 and :46.77, with Prospect Park stalking the pace closely from third. It was another three lengths back to Follow Me Crev, and another four or five back to Texas Ryano.
Near the half-mile pole, Collected regained his lead from Prime Attraction under a slight hand ride from Garcia. Prospect Park appeared to be spinning his wheels a bit around the far turn as Prime Attraction began to drop back, and both Follow Me Crev and Texas Ryano were trying to put in late bids.
At the head of the lane, Collected boasted a two-length advantage over Prospect Park. Under a hand ride, he drew away convincingly down the lane, reaching the wire at least five lengths in front of the hard-trying Follow Me Crev. Prospect Park managed to hold third over Texas Ryano.
Bred in Kentucky by Runnymeade Farm, Collected was originally a $ 150,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September Sale. Speedway purchased the colt for $ 170,000 at the OBS March 2-year-old in training sale, after which he rewarded them by breaking his maiden at first asking in October of his juvenile season.
Briefly on the Derby trail, Collected was impressive in the Sham Stakes and the Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes victories, but Baffert ran him in the Lexington Stakes next, keeping him out of the points leaders. His win there propelled him to the Preakness, where he finished a disappointing 10th after tiring badly. Turned out for the remainder of 2016, Collected has returned with a flourish this season, defeating Dortmund handily in the Santana Mile last out and never threatened in the Californian. Overall, he boasts six wins from nine starts with earnings of nearly $ 600,000.
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