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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Little Jerry in to Win, Baltas Says


Little Jerry will be the longest shot in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes, but trainer Richard Baltas says he doesn't care.

“We didn’t enter just to make the race go,” said Baltas of Little Jerry, the 8-1 outsider. “That’s not the reason. 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 and was put in the Grade I CashCall Futurity next out, finishing eighth by 15 1/2 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 (Aaron Gryder) broke ,he put the horse right on the rail, and he ate all the dirt or whatever you want to call it. 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. The horse is well over 16 hands. He’s a monster.”

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 Lewis quotes:

Julien Leparoux -- “We were on the outside (in Flashback's debut). There was no traffic, we kept him outside, and he won easy. We’ll see what happens, 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.”

Doug O'Neill on 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 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.”

Edited Santa Anita release


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