Sanford features usual bunch of up-and-coming two-year-olds

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Jen Caldwell

July 22nd, 2015

Two names stand out in Saturday’s $150,000 Sanford S. (G3) – He’s Comin in Hot & Cocked and Loaded.

That’s because those two are the only ones in the 11-strong field with stakes wins under their girths.

It’s not unexpected, though, as the six-furlong contest is for juveniles and many in the group are just now exiting maiden company.

He’s Comin in Hot took three tries to break his maiden, doing so on June 12 at Churchill Downs by 4 1/2 lengths. Trainer Bret Calhoun gave his charge two weeks off before bringing him back to wire the Bashford Manor S. (G3) by 3 3/4 lengths.

The bay gelding has worked twice since that score, recording a half-mile in :49 1/5 at Churchill on July 11 and going the same distance in :51 1/5 at the Spa last Saturday. Joel Rosario takes the mount for the first time on He’s Comin in Hot.

Cocked and Loaded is unbeaten thus far in two starts for two different trainers. The Colonel John colt started out with John Hancock, for whom he took his April 9 maiden debut at Keeneland, then took up residence in Larry Rivelli’s shedrow for a half-length triumph in the Tremont S. at Belmont Park on June 5.

Finishing second in the Tremont was the re-opposing Paynes Prairie, who next out broke his maiden by 3 1/2 lengths on Independence Day. Uncle Vinny is the only other runner in the Sanford with prior stakes experience, having finished sixth in the Tremont.

Among the seven maiden winners, all but one are bringing debut wins into the Sanford. The one is Save the Drama, who will be trying dirt for the first time after making his two career starts over Presque Isle Downs’ synthetic Tapeta.

He's Comin in Hot photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography