Consistent colt Uncle Lino (3c Uncle Mo x Haysee, by Orientate) scored a tenacious front-running victory in the inaugural running of the $151,035 California Chrome Stakes at Los Alamitos to become the 13th stakes-winner for his red hot young sire.
Prepared by Gary Sherlock, Uncle Lino turned in a career best performance to lead throughout and win by half a length in new track-record time of 1:40.82 for the 8 1/2 furlongs.
Uncle Lino was a a firm favourite having finished third at his previous run to Exaggerator in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby.
”We wanted to be on the lead with him,” said Gary Sherlock.
“I was a little concerned because the fractions weren’t that strong, but I guess they came home pretty well. We’ve been talking about the [May 21] Preakness. We’ll see how he comes out of this race. We get an extra week from the [GI Kentucky] Derby horses. Somebody asked me if this horse should win today. I said, ‘Well the horses that have been beating him are running in the Kentucky Derby, so I think he’s got a pretty good chance.’ “
He has the overall record of two wins and four placings from seven starts with prizemoney topping $316,000.
A $52,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase, Uncle Lino is from Haysee, a sibling to Grade I winners Shackleford and Lady Joanne.