Bob Baffert expects the real Coliseum to show up tomorrow in the Grade II San Vicente Stakes for three-year-olds at seven furlongs after disappointing as the 3-10 choice in the Grade III Sham Stakes at one mile on Jan. 5, finishing sixth by 4 ¼ lengths.
Such is life on the Triple Crown trail in February.
“He got off slow and got behind horses,” Baffert said of the Sham. “We tried rating him, and we're still trying to learn about the horse. Going long first time, you sort of have to be in the race. He got behind and wasn't enjoying it.
“His psyche was off and he didn't know what was going on. He didn't get beat that far but it wasn't a real strong race, either. He's come back and I'm trying some different things. Mike (Smith) has worked him a couple times but he's still not breaking that well.
“He needs to get away a little bit better, but going seven eighths at least there's more speed and it gives him a better chance. We've got to teach him to settle and this is the only time you can do that, because they don't have to shoot into a turn right away.”
Baffert also entered daylight debut winner Dessman in the race, which offers no Kentucky Derby qualifying points since it is a sprint.
The field for the San Vicente, which goes as race eight of nine: Synthesis, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; Coliseum, Mike Smith, 6-5; Dessman, Flavien Prat, 5-2; Sparky Ville, Joel Rosario, 4-1;and Savagery, Heriberto Figueroa, 4-1.
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