09/01/2010 1:29PM

El Cajon Stakes pits Art Sherman against son Steve

Benoit & Associates
Goggles McCoy will try to stretch out his speed to a mile in Friday's El Cajon Stakes.

DEL MAR, Calif.– Unbeaten in four sprints, Goggles McCoy starts in the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on Friday, trying a mile for the first time.

The El Cajon is an important race for Goggles McCoy’s future, and for trainer Steve Sherman and his family. For the first time, Sherman, 46, and his father, Art, 73, will have runners in the same stakes. Art Sherman starts Haimish Hy, who has not started since finishing second in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in April.

“His horse can run,” Steve Sherman said of Haimish Hy.

“He might be too tough for me,” Art Sherman said of Goggles McCoy.

Goggles McCoy, owned by breeder Tom Shapiro, debuted on May 15, winning a maiden race at Golden Gate Fields by 6 1/2 lengths. In three subsequent starts – two optional claimers and the Real Good Deal Stakes for 3-year-old statebreds over seven furlongs here on Aug. 11 – Goggles McCoy has won by a combined 11 lengths, leading throughout.

In the Real Good Deal, Goggles McCoy made an easy lead and won by 2 1/2 lengths. Friday’s El Cajon Stakes, which is restricted to 3-year-olds, offers a different kind of test.

“It’s an unknown distance, but he’s really worked well since he ran,” Steve Sherman said. “I expect to go right to the lead and take it to those guys.

“I don’t know how good he is. You just keep putting him with better and better horses.”

Goggles McCoy’s speed may make him tough to catch in the El Cajon. The race drew eight runners, but none is as effective as Goggles McCoy or have a race record close to matching his.

“We need to get a good test into him,” Steve Sherman said.

Lions Story is a threat from off the pace, having won an optional claimer over 1 1/16 miles on July 21. Gallant Gent and Just Magic were third and fourth in the Oceanside Stakes over a mile on turf on July 21.

Haimish Hy will be after his fourth win, and first in a stakes, but Art Sherman said it may not be enough to beat Goggles McCoy.

“Goggles has the speed,” he said. “It’s kind of fun being in the same race. If speed does come back, my horse will be running at the finish.”