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Little Jerry Faces Heavyweights in Lewis

Bet on this: Little Jerry will be the longest shot in Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes, but it makes no never mind to Richard Baltas.

“We didn’t enter just to make the race go,” said the 51-year-old trainer of the chestnut son of Candy Ride, owned by Jason Tackitt of Riverside and Jerry Fialkowski of Lomita.

Still, Baltas will settle for a piece of the purse, which he is assured of anyway since only four horses were entered in the Grade II race for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.

“That’s not the reason,” Baltas continued. “I feel Iike we’ve got a legitimate shot. He’s a nice horse. We entered because the horse is doing well.”

Little Jerry won his first start, coming from eighth and last at the half-mile marker to win by a neck at 25-1 in a mile and one-sixteenth maiden allowance race at Betfair Hollywood Park last Nov. 18. He was raised to the Grade I CashCall Futurity next out, finishing eighth by 15 ½ lengths on Dec. 15. Each time he got off to a slow start.

“The first time he ran he really wasn’t ready to run,” Baltas said. “In that race, he never had any dirt in his face, he was in the clear and he won. When we ran him in the CashCall, it was probably too tough of a spot.

“When he (jockey Aaron Gryder) broke he put the horse right on the rail and he ate all the dirt or whatever you want to call it (Cushion Track). He came back, he coughed like 20 times and he had a bit of mucous.

“Since then he’s trained really well. He’s not a real speed horse, so we’re just going to let him run his race.”

Little Jerry’s moniker, from the fertile mind of Tackitt, is derived from a Seinfeld episode in which a fighting rooster--Little Jerry--is named for Jerry Seinfeld. Other than that, the adjective really isn’t appropriate.

“The horse is well over 16 hands,” Baltas said. “He’s a monster.”

In other Lewis news:

Julien Leparoux figures he might be on the lead by default aboard favored Flashback.

The Eclipse Award-winning jockey rode the gray son of Tapit to victory in his only start, a seven-furlong maiden allowance race at Betfair Hollywood Park last Dec. 8, coming from midpack to win by 3 ½ lengths at even money.

“We were on the outside that day,” Leparoux said, referring to post position No. 9 in a nine-horse field. “There was no traffic, we kept him outside, and he won easy. We’ll see what happens (in the Lewis), but I suppose we’re going to be on the lead, looking at the past performances.

“Hopefully we can control the race and win it. It’s tough when it’s a four-horse field. Even the two horses that don’t show any speed (He’s Had Enough and Little Jerry), in a field this small, they might show a little bit more.”

Trainer Doug O’Neill on Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up He’s Had Enough: “He’s doing well. He’s kind of a tricky horse. He doesn’t apply himself every time, but the good thing is, Mario’s (Gutierrez) gotten to know him better and the horse put in a good work the other day, although he probably didn’t want to.

“But Mario made sure he did. He came out of it in good shape. It’s a short field and he doesn’t have a lot of speed away from the gate, so that’s a disadvantage. But win, lose or draw, as long as he runs to the best of his ability, we’ll be happy.”

The field for the Lewis: Little Jerry, Tyler Baze, 8-1; Flashback, Julien Leparoux, 3-5; Den’s Legacy, Garrett Gomez, 5-2; and He’s Had Enough, Mario Gutierrez, 3-1.



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Older Comments about Little Jerry Faces Heavyweights in Lewis...

1st- Flashback 2nd- He's Had Enough 3rd- Den's Legacy 4th- Little Jerry. I am playing a $1 Super, in that order. $4 bet. All I'm playing for that race.
If I were you (referring in general) I'd say box Little Jerry He's Had Enough and Flashback. Looking for a big comeback performance from HHE.

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