05/09/2013 12:34PM

Hollywood Park: Came Home Stakes a litmus test for Let Em Shine

Shigeki Kikkawa
Let Em Shine earned a Beyer Figure of 91 for this maiden victory and followed it up with a 98-Beyer performance in an optional-claiming win.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Let Em Shine used raw speed to roll to two easy wins in six-furlong sprints at Santa Anita earlier this year.

If he can conserve just a little of that energy when he makes his stakes debut in Saturday’s $70,000 Came Home Stakes over seven furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park, Let Em Shine could be headed to New York this summer.

Owner William Peeples and trainer Adam Kitchingman are considering Let Em Shine for the Grade 1, $500,000 King’s Bishop Stakes over seven furlongs at Saratoga on Aug. 24, but need to see a positive race Saturday.

“The whole idea is to see if he can go seven furlongs,” Kitchingman said.

“I’m hoping he relaxes a little bit. I can’t see him not being on the lead, but he’s got to slow it down a little.”

Let Em Shine was third in his career debut last December, finishing 3 3/4 lengths behind Hear the Ghost, who won the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita in March. Earlier this year, Let Em Shine won a maiden race by 7 1/2 lengths on Jan. 19 and an optional claimer by 4 1/4 lengths March 10. He earned Beyer Speed Figures of 91 and 98 in those races.

In both wins, Let Em Shine was a clear leader after a sixteenth of a mile and was not threatened.

“I think he relaxed a little better in the second race,” Kitchingman said. “In both races, he wanted to go. I’m excited to see him.”

Let Em Shine will be ridden by regular rider Edwin Maldonado in the Came Home Stakes, which has drawn a field of five. Let Em Shine starts from the rail and faces by far his toughest test.

The field includes Scherer Magic, who won the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship here last July; Treasury Bill, who was second in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita in February; Belvin, the beaten favorite in the San Vicente; and Broadway Empire, winner of a six-furlong maiden race by 16 1/2 lengths at Turf Paradise in March.

Broadway Empire led throughout his win, but trainer Robertino Diodoro does not expect to see the same tactics in the Came Home, especially with Let Em Shine in the field.

“I know he blasted to the front in Phoenix,” Diodoro said. “I think he was much the best horse. I don’t expect him to be on the front end.”