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HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Racecourse (10/16/04)
Contact: Jim Miller
Quick Return No Problem for Cool Conductor
STICKNEY, IL -- After running just last Sunday at Keeneland, finishing fourth as the favorite, it seemed like a quick return for Cool Conductor to come back and run six days later in a Graded Stakes event, maybe too quick. But he handled things in stride and the favored 3-year-old colt got up just in time for the victory in the running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Hawthorne Derby.
Setting the pace in the Hawthorne Derby was longshot Western Ridge, carving out early fractions of :23.2, :47.2 and 1:11.2 for three-quarters. Close behind was Gwaihir, followed by Bankruptcy Court and Cockleshell. Rating nicely off the pace was the relaxed Cool Conductor and jockey Jose Santos as the two sat mid-pack early and began making their move on the turn.
While Gwaihir and Cockleshell moved outside, Bankruptcy Court assumed the lead when the rail opened and appeared ready to draw away. Scooting through the same hole, however, not too far behind, was Cool Conductor. He wore down Bankruptcy Court in the final strides to win by a neck.
Mark Schreiber, assistant trainer to William Mott, was pleased with the effort. “He ran great. He came back after only 6 days. I have seen Billy do that a lot over the years. He puts a good tightener in them before a big race. When he first broke near the front I was worried that Jose wasn’t going to be able to get him back but he was able to get him behind horses. Once you can get him behind horses he’ll relax.
"He can be kind of bull headed and he just kind of ran off in his last couple of races," Schreiber continued. "Pat (Day) came back after the races and said he couldn’t hold him. When he gets it into his mind that he wants to go he goes. I was glad that Jose was able to get him tucked in behind horses and relax. The last two races with Pat Day he was rank and didn’t have anything at the finish. Today he ran like he did in the American Derby.”
Jose Santos, winning jockey aboard Cool Conductor, was happy he made the trip. “I had a very lucky trip. Billy Mott put me on this horse because nobody else could hold him. He wanted me to take him back a little bit. He was running off at the beginning so I put him behind horses. That usually helps him to relax. I got real lucky around the quarter pole. The rail opened up. I followed Bankruptcy Court through the hole. I started working on him in the final 3/16s.
"Inside the 1/16 pole you could see that he was going to win. I got lucky today. Three horses got in front of me so I was able to get behind them. He tried to run off early but he’s an intelligent horse and he could understand what I wanted him to do. He’s pretty good right now, at three, but I think he’ll be much better next year.”
Third choice in the wagering, Bankruptcy Court held well for second while Crown Prince closed late to finish third. Bankruptcy Court's rider, Shaun Bridgmohan, was a little disappointed, not in his horse but in the finish. “My horse ran his eyeballs out. Everything went well. I had a perfect trip. The rail opened up around the turn and I took advantage of it. I thought we were gone. The other horse just outran me to the wire. It worked out really good for me except for the final result.”
Larry Sterling, rider of 3rd place finisher Crown Prince, has high hopes for the future of this colt. “I had a perfect trip. I just couldn’t catch them. I have always liked this horse. I think he belongs with these horses but the others were just a little more seasoned.”
The win was the first stakes victory of Cool Conductor’s career and third lifetime victory. The $150,000 winner’s share of the purse boosted his earnings to $341,846 for owner David Garner and trainer Mott. Cool Conductor returned $5.00, $3.00 and $2.60. Bankruptcy Court came back $4.20 and $3.20 while Crown Prince returned $9.40 to show.
Hawthorne races from September 24 through January 2. Racing is slated for five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday and four days a week in December, Thursday through Sunday with an option to run on Wednesdays. First post daily is 1:10 pm. Hawthorne can be contacted at 708-780-3700 or on the web at www.hawthorneracecourse.com.
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