Frank C. Calabrese’s Where’s Sterling was an impressive winner of the 38th running of the $75,000 Memorial Day Handicap at Calder Casino & Race Course Monday when crushing his rivals by 7 ½ lengths while covering the 1 1/16-mile trip in 1:44.59. The final time was the fastest since the race was moved to its present 1 1/16-mile main track distance in 1999.
Trained by Luis Ramirez, Where’s Sterling galloped along patiently in third while Sky Venture and Imperial Czar fought for the front through splits of :23.91, :47.86, and 1:12.33. As those battle-hardened rivals began to withdraw, Where’s Sterling took the offensive and seized control of the race, opening up a three-length lead in mid-stretch before expanding that margin through the wire.
“When I got to the three-eighths, I knew I had the race won,” winning jockey John Delgado said. “My horse was going along nice and easy, while the other horses in front of me were being asked to run. When I asked my horse, he just took off.”
A popular winner at odds of 1.60-1, Where’s Sterling returned $5.20, $2.80, and $2.40 for the victory. Cash Rules paid $2.80 and $2.60 when second, while Numb Lips brought back $4.80 in third.
Completing the order of finish was Imperial Czar, Sky Venture, Dream Maestro, Flatter This, and Trust the Deputy.
With his Memorial Day Handicap victory, Where’s Sterling improved his career record to four wins from 13 starts with a lifetime bankroll of $409,665.
Bred in Kentucky by Cynthia Knight, Where’s Sterling won the Grade 3 Philip Iselin at Monmouth Park in 2011 and was later second in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup. Earlier this year, the 5-year-old son of Northern Afleet was a troubled fourth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap, beaten 3 ½ lengths for everything.