09/20/2014 8:01PM

Seeking the Sherif continues rise by winning Katella

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Benoit & Associates
Seeking the Sherif sets a six-furlong track record of 1:08.40 in winning his first career stakes in the Katella.

CYPRESS, Calif.- Seeking the Sherif was a $12,500 claimer at Santa Anita last December when acquired by a partnership and trainer Ron Ellis.

Nearly nine months and eight races later, Seeking the Sherif became a stakes winner in Saturday’s $75,000 Katella Stakes at Los Alamitos. The 5-year-old gelding had an ideal trip under jockey Edwin Maldonado to win by 1 1/2 lengths, running six furlongs in track-record time of 1:08.40.

Since being claimed, Seeking the Sherif has won 5 of 8 starts and earned $222,700.

Seeking the Sherif ($4.40) was well-placed throughout the Katella Stakes. Maldonado had Seeking the Sherif in second on the backstretch behind Distinctiv Passion, who set early fractions of 21.45 and 43.62 seconds through the first half-mile.

Maldonado said he thought Seeking the Sherif was well-placed. He rode Distinctiv Passion in nine of his first 10 starts.

“Distinctiv Passion doesn’t relax,” Maldonado said. “I just waited and waited.”

Seeking the Sherif joined Distinctiv Passion early in the long stretch and wore down the leader in the final sixteenth to take the advantage. Distinctiv Passion held second, finishing a length in front of Spirit Rules, who was followed by Drill and Regally Soul in the field of five.

Heir of Storm was scratched early Saturday.

Seeking the Sherif was third in two sprint stakes on the Polytrack synthetic track at Del Mar over the summer – the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes on July 27 and the Pirate’s Bounty Stakes on Sept. 3. Maldonado said that Seeking the Sherif struggled on that surface.

“He didn’t get a hold of it,” Maldonado said after Saturday’s win.

Seeking the Sherif, by Officer, has won 7 of 11 starts and earned $244,100.