Collected cruises home under jockey Martin Garcia

Collected cruises home under jockey Martin Garcia

Benoit Photo

Collected Impresses Again in Californian

Trainer Bob Baffert said City Zip colt could start in Gold Cup (G1) next.

Just watching Martin Garcia's mannerisms aboard Speedway Stable's Collected for every step of the $200,000 Californian Stakes (G2) April 22, it was clear the jockey knew what he had underneath him.

Early on Garcia calmly held his position on the rail as Prime Attraction put his neck in front. After the longshot was long gone in the final turn of the 1 1/8-mile test, Prospect Park moved into a striking position, but again the jockey showed confidence and simply loosened the reins.

In the stretch Garcia's confidence was reinforced, as the son of City Zip trained by Bob Baffert kicked away to win by 3 3/4 lengths at Santa Anita Park. Follow Me Crev closed from fourth in the five-horse field to pick up second and his second graded placing in a row.

"I was pressured a little and knew there was speed to my outside," Garcia said. "He always likes to run on the lead. Today I just let him break and run where he wanted to. When it was time to go, I just asked and he took off."

It was the second straight stakes win for Collected, after he opened his 4-year-old season with another 3 3/4-length win in the April 1 Santana Mile.

"In the Santana he wasn't even ready for that race," Garcia said. "He was maybe (75%) and I even told Bob that I was going to go easy in that race."

Prime Attraction ran opening fractions of :23.23 and :46.77 through a half-mile, but was never more than a neck in front of Collected. The 3-5 favorite took over to run six furlongs in 1:10.56, hit a mile in 1:35.09, and finished off the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.73. 

Video: Californian S. (G2)

Prospect Park came in third, while Texas Ryano  and Prime Attraction completed the order of finish. Baffert stablemate Cupid  was a late scratch from the race.

Bred in Kentucky by Runnymede Farm and Peter Callahan out of the Johannesburg mare Helena Bay, Collected now has six wins from nine starts with $600,500 in earnings. He was a $170,000 purchase by Speedway from the SGV Thoroughbreds consignment to the Ocala Breeders' Sales' March 2015 sale of 2-year-olds in training, and before that graduated the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale when consigned by Runnymede and purchased by SGV for $150,000.

"He's really matured into a big, strong horse and now we're able to conserve that speed a little bit," Baffert said. "Before he was just wanting to go,go, go, and now he's learning to conserve. The more he's learning to conserve it, the more we're able to stretch him out a little."

The stretching out may continue even farther for Collected's next start, as Baffert indicated after the race that he's considering running the colt May 27 in the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup at Santa Anta (G1).