09/01/2014 3:35PM

Seeking the Sherif well placed in Pirate's Bounty

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Seeking the Sherif, winning a Santa Anita optional claimer, comes off a third in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Seeking the Sherif had won four straight races prior to the Grade 1 Bing Crosby in his last start. Though he finished third in the Bing Crosby, it might have been the best performance of his career.

Seeking the Sherif, a former claimer, was beaten just two lengths, finishing behind a pair of outstanding sprinters in Big Macher and Goldencents. On Wednesday, he faces a far easier group of five rivals in the $90,000 Pirate’s Bounty, a six-furlong race that is the male equivalent of the CERF.

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“I think that last race might have been his best race,” said Seeking the Sherif’s trainer, Ron Ellis. “He hopped at the start, and that took him out of his game. He usually gets a flyer. But he was fresh, he was antsy in the gate, and didn’t break like he usually does. Usually, horses like that rush up and quit, but even though things didn’t go right, he still ran well.

“He’s got a lot of heart. He’s not very big.”

KEY CONTENDERS

Seeking the Sherif (Last 3 Beyers: 95-97-103)

◗ Favorably drawn on the outside, he should get a clean trip, though Ankeny Hill, just to his inside, has plenty of early speed, too.

◗ His rider, Edwin Maldonado, has a great chance to sweep the undercard stakes. He rides Reneesgotzip in the CERF.

Ankeny Hill (Last 3 Beyers: 95-90-88)

◗ He comes off a career-best effort when leading from start to finish going five furlongs Aug. 2. He has finished first and second in his two tries on Polytrack.

No Silent (Last 3 Beyers: 85-89-8)

◗ Freshened since April, he has trained sharply for his comeback and won over this track last year when returning from a shorter layoff.

Bull Dozer (Last 3 Beyers: 90-89-87)

◗ With all the speed in this race, he has an excellent chance to make a late run and nail tiring leaders.

◗ He showed a fondness for this course in his local debut when beating optional claimers Aug. 15.