Awesome Patriot, Coil Lead Affirmed Lineup
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 6/8/2011 6:51:43 PM
Last Updated: 6/11/2011 10:19:13 AM
Awesome Patriot has won three of six starts in his career and is seeking his first graded win.
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Awesome Patriot and Coil, two colts previously considered for races at Belmont Park June 11, give trainer Bob Baffert a strong hand in the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) the same day at Hollywood Park.
The Affirmed, one of four stakes on Hollywood's 11-race program, is race 7 with an expected post time of 2:04 p.m. PDT.
Awesome Patriot, owned by the Lanni Family Trust and Bernie Schiappa, was on the list of prospects for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) the same day as the Affirmed. Coil was considered as a possible starter in the Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) on the same Belmont program.
“I decided to stay here with Coil,” said Baffert, who won the Affirmed in 1999 with General Challenge and in 2006 with Point Determined.
The Affirmed, at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds over the Cushion Track, drew a field of six. Besides the two Baffert challengers, the biggest threat figures to come from Runflatout, who missed by a nose in the seven-furlong Lazaro Barrera Memorial Stakes (gr. III) May 15 at Hollywood.
In his first outing of the current Hollywood meet, Awesome Patriot won the Alydar Stakes, leading throughout to prevail by three-quarters of a length May 8. In his only other start this year, the son of Awesome Again was a well-beaten sixth in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 12 at Santa Anita. He has won three of six starts in his career and is seeking his first graded win.
Awesome Patriot worked six furlongs in 1:12 4/5 June 5 and will be ridden back by Rafael Bejarano. They drew the far outside post.
Coil made his sophomore debut May 6 at Hollywood, winning an optional claiming allowance by 1 ¼ lengths. One of his victims that day was stablemate Smash, who has since come back to win.
Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the Point Given colt broke his maiden in his second start last November by 3 ¼ lengths at Hollywood.
The Affirmed will be the first start beyond 6 ½ furlongs for Coil, who was bred in Florida by original owner Glen Hill Farm. He breaks from the rail with Martin Garcia aboard.
Runflatout will stretch out again for trainer John Sadler and owner West Point Thoroughbred after losing the Barrera Memorial in a game try to Bench Points last time. The son of Flatter set a fast pace under pressure in the San Felipe, his only prior two-turn try, and backed out quickly. Victor Espinoza rides Runflatout for the first time.
Akkadian gets off the turf for the first time in five starts for trainer Julio Canani and owner Gary Broad. The Tiznow colt, coming off an optional claiming win at one mile April 28, makes his stakes debut.
$100,000 Affirmed Handicap (gr. III, Race 7, 2:04 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Coil (FL), M Garcia, 116, B Baffert
2. Runflatout (KY), V Espinoza, 116, J W Sadler
3. Akkadian (KY), J Talamo, 114, J C Canani
4. Northern Indy (KY), T Baze, 113, O J Jauregui
5. Spud Spivens (CA), A Quinonez, 114, H Moreno
6. Awesome Patriot (KY), R Bejarano, 119, B Baffert
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