If I.Q. means anything, Calimonco has an edge over his rivals in Saturday’s Grade II Oak Tree Mile.
“He’s highly intelligent,” said Larry Benavidez, long-time
assistant to trainer John Sadler, who is in Kentucky today preparing
stakes charges for the opening of the Keeneland meet. “On his stall at
Del Mar, we have a sign,” Benavidez continued: “STAY AWAY. I BITE HARD.”
He’ll do that, especially if you have a helmet on.”
Antics aside, Sadler expects another solid effort from the
5-year-old Storm Cat horse in the turf event that offers $150,000 in
“He ran very well in the Del Mar Mile (third, beaten a
half-length on Aug. 27),” Sadler said before his departure. “It was
really a good third. He lacked a little racing room at the quarter pole
but ran a good, strong race. He didn’t get beat (by) very much.”
Owned and bred by Marty and Pam Wygod, Calimonco has a 4-7-6 record from 25 starts with earnings of $264,466.
The field for the Oak Tree Mile, Saturday’s ninth race: Victory
Pete, Jose Valdivia Jr; El Gato Malo, David Flores; John Johny Jak,
Rafael Bejarano; Blue Chagall, Hector Berrios; Jeranimo, Martin Garcia;
Mr. Commons, Mike Smith; Crown of Thorns, Alonso Quinonez; Calimonco,
Victor Espinoza; and Monterey Jazz, Joe Talamo.