08/05/2017 7:43PM

Awaken breezes to Cleveland Kindergarten victory

JJ Zamaiko
Awaken returned $2.60 in winning the Cleveland Kindergarten at Thistledown on Saturday.

Awaken got the better of stablemate Candy Exchange this time, and may also have punched his ticket into open company with a seven-length victory in the $75,000 Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes for Ohio-bred juveniles Saturday at Thistledown.

Candy Exchange and Awaken are both trained by Tim Hamm and are co-bred and co-owned by his Blazing Meadows Farm and Eclipse Award-winning breeder WinStar Farm. Capehart Equine also co-owns Candy Exchange in the partnership. Both colts impressively won on debut, and Candy Exchange came back to win the Hoover Stakes by three lengths over Awaken on July 8. This time, however, Awaken turned the tables.

Candy Exchange and Pablo Morales broke on top of the short field of six for the Cleveland Kindergarten, and led Awaken and Irwin Rosendo by half a length through a sharp opening half in 45.80. But Awaken easily edged clear of his stablemate, who had no answer, and was rolling with a clear lead into the stretch, pulling clear to his final margin. The final time for the six furlongs was 1:11.46.

Charlee's Magic, who had stalked the pace in third, came on to be second, 1 1/2 lengths clear of a fading Candy Exchange, who finished in a dead heat with Little Blaker in third.

Awaken returned $2.60 to win as part of the favored entry.

“We thought he ran a great race,” Hamm said. “We knew the extra distance would help, but we didn’t know if six furlongs would be long enough. I’m not sure about his next start, but there’s a gap in Ohio races for 2-year-olds before the Best of Ohio, so we’ll look for a stake for him outside Ohio. That will give us a chance to see where he shakes himself out in the 2-year-old division.”