Sheets Gains First Grade With Top Effort in Azalea
Making his graded stakes debut for trainer Thomas (T.V.) Smith, Sheets was coming off a neck win over second-level allowance foes at Churchill Downs June 1. The dark bay daughter of Scatmandu--One Hot Minute (Relaunch) made a three wide move on the turn and completed the six-furlong distance in 1:10 2/5 on a sealed Calder main track.
“That was a great race," Albarado said. "I had a great outside post position and didn’t have anyone dictating to me. We didn’t get pressured from anyone. When I called on her (Sheets), she exploded. This was a nice bunch we beat, too.”
Sindy With an S, the 9-5 favorite in the field of nine, stalked the pace for Aaron Gryder from the rail and reached even terms with the eventual winner on the turn, but failed to match Sheets in the run to the wire. The Southern California invader finished two lengths clear of third-place finisher Holly Torque Tango, another Southern Cal-based filly ridden by Clinton Potts.
Cher Ami came out running, clicking off a :21 2/5 opening quarter mile before giving way to Sheets after a :44 2/5 half.
The consistent Sheets improved to 4-4-1 in 10 lifetime starts. The winning share of $176,000 increased her earnings to $285,939. All of Sheets' previous efforts have come in Kentucky.
“I really wasn’t too worried about the wet track," Smith said. "She’s handled it before. Let’s say I didn’t think it would be a detriment. I trained her mother. She was by Relaunch and was a good ‘mudder.’
"She always runs her race. The owner just told me we have a pretty ambitious plan for her next start – the Test Stakes (gr. I) (on Aug. 4) at Saratoga.”
Sent off as the fifth choice, Sheets paid $15.20, $6 and $4.40. Sindy With an S, a winner of three of four starts to begin her career for trainer Mike Mitchell in Southern California, returned $4 and $3.20. Holly Torque Tango, another lightly raced filly for trainer Brian Koriner, was $4 to show.
Miss A. Bomb ran fourth, followed by Mountain Tiger, Time's Mistress, Cher Ami, Secretsoftheheart and Atlanta Highway.
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