Trainer Rudy Sanchez-Salomon
Lugamo Racing Stable and J R Sanchez Racing Stable’s Askin for a Baskin swept past dueling pacesetters Imperial King and Jimmy the Kid in deep stretch and edged clear in Race 9 Friday at Laurel Park to complete a four-win day for trainer Rudy Sanchez-Salomon at the Maryland track.
Askin for a Baskin ($6.60) and Jimmy the Kid, both recent claims by Sanchez-Salomon, finished 1 ¼ lengths apart in the starter-optional claimer for 3-year-olds and up sprinting six furlongs on a fast main track, with Imperial King another 3 ¼ lengths back in third. The winning time was 1:10.98.
“It’s a blessed day. It’s an awesome, blessed day,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “It happens once in a blue moon, and it happened to me today.”
It was the first four-win day for Sanchez-Salomon, a 50-year-old native of Mexico who by Equibase statistics has won 135 races since launching his career in 2017 after working under trainers Scott Lake and Dane Kobiskie. He won his first race with Nairet May 28, 2017, at historic Pimlico Race Course.
“I thought the horses were in some good spots and with some luck we could win a couple races,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “In the last race, they scratched the favorite and that horse is a runner. That was in our favor.”
Stroll Smokin, a 13-time winner including two straight, was scratched after warming up for Race 9, where the 7-year-old gelding was the 2-5 favorite. Jimmy the Kid and Imperial King were inseparable through splits of 23.04 and 46.35 seconds when Askin for a Baskin, who had tracked the pair in third, came rolling on the far outside.
“It feels awesome,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “The horse that ran second I just claimed not that long ago and I like that horse. He’s got speed and heart, as well. He was in a battle and the other horse was going good and I said, ‘He’s got a shot to win this one.’ It’s a great day.”
Sanchez-Solomon’s other wins came with Designated Hitters Racing’s Albertano ($26.80) in Race 4, J R Sanchez Racing Stable’s Samui Sunset ($17.80) in Race 6 and Joanne Shankle’s The Wolfman ($3.40) in Race 8, a six-furlong starter allowance for 3-year-olds and up. The Wolfman came back five days after running ninth in the $75,000 Find going 1 1/16 miles on the Laurel turf.
“The other day, he just went over there just to go around. That was my plan. It was time to figure out if he was going to like the turf going long or not,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “I told the jockey, ‘Listen, just let him run his race. Don’t ask him for anything. Let him be himself,’ and he did. He proved it today that he was ready for this race.”
Sanchez-Salomon now has six wins from 23 starters at Laurel’s 37-day summer meet, which began June 3. He was second with Can the Queen in the $75,000 All Brandy June 19 while attempting to stretch the two-time turf sprint stakes winner’s speed around two turns.
Based at Laurel, Sanchez-Salomon said that claimer-turned-multiple stakes winner Shake Em Loose, a late Triple Crown nominee that was considered for a start in the 147th Preakness Stakes (G1), remains on summer vacation. He was most recently sixth in the one-mile James W. Murphy for 3-year-olds on turf on the Preakness undercard May 21.
“He’s doing good,” Sanchez-Salomon said. “He’s taking some time off at the farm. I wanted to give him a little bit of time off and he’s doing awesome.”