INGLEWOOD, Calif. (May 5, 2011)—Uncle Sam and Clarke Lane, who finished a neck apart in an optional claimer April 3 at Santa Anita, top a field of five in the $70,000 Alydar Stakes Sunday at Hollywood Park.
Returned to the Spring/Summer stakes schedule after a two year absence, the Alydar is the first of a three race series over Cushion Track for 3-year-olds. The race at 1 1/8 miles precedes the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap June 11 and the $150,000 Swaps Stakes July 9.
Owned by Kaleem Shah and trained by Bob Baffert, Uncle Sam has won two of three and earned $72,000. Prior to his narrow decision over Clarke Lane, the Tapit ridgling out of the Pleasant Colony mare On the Town had defeated maidens at first asking Dec. 27, then was fourth of five in the Sham, a Grade III, Jan. 15.
Trained by Simon Callaghan for IEAH Stables and Pegasus Holding Group Stables, Clarke Lane was 30-1 in his U.S. debut when just missing to Uncle Sam.
The Giant’s Causeway colt out of the Real Quiet mare Wonder Lady Anne L had won once in four appearances in England as a 2-year-old. He’s earned $19,601 and Callaghan has indicated a start in the Belmont Stakes June 11 is a possibility if Clark Lane were to run well Sunday.
Baffert also entered Awesome Patriot. Owned by the Lanni Family Trust, the son of Awesome Again and the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tizamazing has two wins in five attempts and a bankroll of $69,580.
A $350,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale in 2009, Awesome Patriot earned his maiden win over Cushion Track in his debut last Oct. 9, then was third behind Premier Pegasus and Industry Leader in the Hollywood Prevue, a Grade III, Nov. 20.
Last of eight in the same race Uncle Sam and Clarke Lane exit, Red Sharp Humor will be seeking his second lifetime victory. Owned by Halo Farms and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, the Sharp Humor gelding out of the Crafty Prospector mare Denali Red has started eight times with earnings of $55,800.
Burns, the lone California bred in the field, will be making his second start of the meet for owner-breeders Madeline Auerbach and Alfred Pais and trainer Barry Abrams. The gelded son of Unusual Heat out of the Afternoon Deelites mare was a troubled fifth in the Snow Chief Stakes April 23. Burns has won two of seven. His bankroll is $83,240.
The Alydar is the third of nine races Sunday. Post time is 1 p.m.
From inside out, the field for the Alydar Stakes: Awesome Patriot, Rafael Bejarano rides, 119 pounds; Clarke Lane, Joel Rosario, 117; Burns, Garrett Gomez, 119; Red Sharp Humor, Corey Nakatani, 117 and Uncle Sam, Martin Garcia, 119.
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