Collected wires Sunland Park Festival of Racing
Regular rider Martin Garcia was in the pilot’s seat and didn’t try to stop the City Zip colt from taking command of the race out of the gate. The duo set splits of :23.35, :47.66 and 1:11.27 all the while tracked by Gettysburg just behind and to the outside.
Gettysburg drew closer rounding the turn but Collected hit another gear in the lane and opened up by four lengths. The Bob Baffert pupil loped home to stop the clock in 1:48.90 for 1 1/8 miles over the fast Sunland Park track.
The Sunland Park Festival of Racing took the place of the cancelled Sunland Derby (G3) after an EHV-1 outbreak forced a quarantine of Sunland Park. The quarantine was finally lifted on March 9, but track officials had already decided to cancel both the Sunland Derby and Sunland Park Oaks.
Those two races awarded points toward starting berths in the respective Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), and were replaced with the points-less Sunland Park Festival of Racing S. and Plum Pretty.
Collected paid $4.20 in earning his second stakes win. Gettysburg was best of the rest, seven lengths up on Concord Fast who had tracked in third throughout. Deputy’s Echo stayed on in fourth, the same spot he ran in on the backstretch, another 4 1/4 lengths behind.
Collected boosted his earnings to $343,700 and improved his career mark to read 5-3-1-0 with this return to the winner’s circle. The Kentucky-bred chestnut broke his maiden on the turf at Santa Anita Park last October in his first outing and closed out his juvenile campaign with a runner-up effort over Del Mar’s grass in the Cecil B. DeMille (G3) on November 29.
Collected made his sophomore and dirt bow on January 9 at Santa Anita in the Sham (G3), taking that one-mile affair by 1 1/4 lengths. He shipped outside of California for the first time when going in Oaklawn Park’s Southwest (G3) last out on February 15 but could only muster a fourth-placing over the good going that day.
Collected is the first registered stakes winner out of the Johannesburg mare Helena Bay and comes from the same female family as Japanese champion Agnes Digital as well as French and English champion Blushing Groom, both successful sires.
Collected photo courtesy of Sunland Park/Coady Photography