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Balmoral Park

Balmoral Park (11/12/09)

Contact: Tom Kelley
(708) 672-1414


Perrrito Caliente
Perrito Caliente
It will be a case of “strength in numbers” for Sawgrass Farms and trainer Joe Seekman in Saturday’s $180,000 American National Two-Year-Old Colt pace as they send out a trio of highly regarded youngsters in Perrito Caliente, Morgan Shark and Four Starz Trace to square off against six other freshmen.

Perrito Caliente has drawn the inside starting spot among the field of nine and that figures to put this speedball in a perfect spot. A model of consistency in his first season of action, the gelded son of Art Major was a $40,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select Sale in 2008.

Since making his debut in mid-July, Perrito Caliente has put together a record of 2-3-2 in eight starts with earnings of over $83,000. His biggest victory came in a Review Stake in Springfield and his career mark of 1:55.2 was taken here at Balmoral Park. He was also second in the Fox Stake at Indianapolis and the Bluegrass at The Red Mile this year.

“He’s a fast colt and we really think he’s going to come back even better as a three-year-old,” said Seekman. “Naturally I would have liked to have had another race in him since Kentucky but he did qualify very nicely and he has trained well leading up to this start.”

Stablemate Morgan Shark was a private purchase in September of 2008 by owner Jim Jesk, and the good-looking son of Four Starzzz Shark certainly looks like a wise investment with five wins, three seconds and $86,951 in earnings through his first eight career starts. Although a bit on the small side, Morgan Shark has shown that he has a big engine and there is no quit in him according to Seekman.

“I was a little concerned about his size when he came to us,” explained Seekman. “Once we started training him down with the others in the spring though he showed us right away that we weren’t going to have to worry about him holding his own with the bigger colts.”

His sharpest effort came at The Meadows back on September 3, when he destroyed a field of two-year-olds in a Keystone Classic Stake by 8 ¼ lengths while stopping the clock in a blistering 1:52.3. The bay gelding also owns victories in the $64,120 Fox Stake (1:52.4) and a late closer at The Red Mile (1:54.2).

Four Starz Trace
Four Starz Trace
Four Starz Trace has also put up some very nice numbers in his first season of racing with two wins, one second and three thirds for earnings of $62,714.

Plucked out of the 2008 Harrisburg sale for $32,000, this altered son of Western Hanover is out of the Cam’s Card Shark mare Four Starzzzz Hope.

“We definitely picked him out because of his breeding,” said Seekman’s wife Tina, who has a keen eye for horse flesh. “He is out of the same cross as Annieswesterncard who is in Saturday’s 3yo colt pace. After the season that he had as a two-year-old we definitely wanted to get another one with that type of breeding.”

Four Starz Trace was ready to roll right out of the box, stopping the clock in 1:53.4 while making his career debut a winning one in a Hanover Stake here at Balmoral Park in July. His second career victory came on Sept. 3, as he tripped the timer in a career best of 1:53.1 while taking a $33,950 division of the Keystone Classic at The Meadows.

While all three of these youngsters have enjoyed success this year, Seekman thinks that even bigger and better things are in store for the trio next year.

“They all trained down very nicely in the spring and they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them this year,” he said. “With some time off over the winter to grow into their bodies and mature, I really believe that all three of them have the potential to be great three-year-olds for us.”




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