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“We thought that with Baffert having two horses in the race, one closer (second-place finisher Den’s Legacy) and one speed horse (third-place finisher Manando), we figured Garcia would send really hard,” said O’Neill.  “Kevin said he could sense leaving the gate that Garcia was doing that, so he wasn’t going to get caught up in a crazy pace duel…As the waters get deeper, you’ve got to be versatile and I think Goldencents and Kevin showed their versatility today.”

With Manando carving out splits of 23.00, 46.31, 1:10.06 and 1:22.84, Goldencents steadied off Manando’s heels into the Club House turn while racing a length behind the pacesetter and just off the rail.  Krigger was able to angle out going to the far turn and got on terms with Manando leaving the quarter pole and was fully extended through the lane.

Owned by University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s RAP Racing, Glenn Sorgenstein and Joshua Kaplan’s W.C. Racing and David Kenney, Goldencents increased his bankroll to $782,000.

As was announced by Churchill Downs last year, the Sham Stakes generated Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the first four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 basis.  The top 20 point earners will secure their individual berths in this year’s Run for the Roses on May 4.

Goldencents/Benoit photo