ARCADIA, Calif. (May 16, 2014)–Claimed for a paltry $12,500 four starts back on Dec. 28, trainer Ron Ellis’s rapidly improving Seeking the Sherif won his third race in-a-row Friday at Santa Anita, taking the track’s $60,000 allowance feature by three quarters of a length over favored Declassify while covering six furlongs under Edwin Maldonado in 1:08.75.
Friday’s second race, a second condition allowance that attracted a field of five 3-year-olds and up, was dominated from start to finish by Seeking the Sherif, who cut out fractions of 22.42, 44.92 and 56.66. The second choice at 3-2, he paid $5.00, $2.40 and $2.10.
“He ran awesome,” said Ellis. “He’s a great little horse and he’s been a dream claim. He’s a dream to train and we’ll just take our time and try to figure out what to do next.”
Owned by Tim Goodwin, Steven Zolatas and Sabina Romo-Zolatas, Seeking the Sherif, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Officer, picked up $36,000 for the win, bringing his post-claim earnings to $92,800. His total earnings stand at $114,200 and his overall mark is now 7-5-1-0.
Declassify, ridden by Martin Garcia, sat second the entire trip and was cutting into the winner’s margin at the wire, finished 4 ¼ lengths clear of Omega Star and paid $2.80 and $2.10.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Omega Star, off at 8-1, was fourth turning for home and rallied to beat Holy Lute by 1 ¾ lengths for the show, returning $2.40.
First live race post time on Saturday, Preakness Day at Santa Anita, is at 11:30 a.m. Admission gates will open early for simulcast wagering at 8 a.m.