HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Race Course results (9/28/03)
COACH JIMI LEE TAKES ZANY TACTICS
Coach Jimi Lee, the popular Jim DiVito-trained gelding, owned by DiVito and Lee Battaglia, scored a one and one half length victory over Sandra & Barry Buchholz's Cashel Castle, trained by Chris Block, in Sunday's Zany Tactics Stakes. The Zany Tactics was the supporting stakes race to the $750,000 Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap, Sunday's featured ninth race.
The "Coach" with legendary rider and Hall of Fame member Pat Day aboard, covered the six and one-half furlong distance in 1:16.14 after fractions of 22.64, 45.37, and 1:09.56. He raced in second position for the first part of the race, wrested a slim lead coming out of the turn, and started to edge away during the course of the stretch run.
"He broke very sharp today," said rider Pat Day. "On paper, it looked like there were a couple of speed horses down inside of us, at least that's what I thought before the race. The speed materialized. We were in a comfortable position, being pressed a little bit by Cashel Castle on the outside. We came off the turn and he got up nearly head to head with us but I hadn't asked my horse yet and then when I did he took off. They made a race of it for awhile but we started to draw away near the wire. It's always my intentions to keep something for the finish and it makes it easy when you're on the best stock."
James DiVito was obviously happy with the outcome. "I think he ran a great race. I don't know what happened to him in his last race. Pat did a great job. He is a very patient rider and he just sat with him and finished strong. I am not sure what is next we just have to see how he comes out of this one."
Chris Block, trainer of second place finisher Cashel Castle, was hopeful after the race. "I am pleased with how he raced. Turning for home I thought we might be a winner because it didn't look like we had used any horse and Pat looked a little busy on Coach Jimi Lee. I think we might have come up just a little short. It is only his second start after his injury."
Eusebio Razo, Jr., jockey of Cashel Castle, was also pleased with the effort. "He ran much better today. I told Chris (Block) that he may have been better off opening up on the lead early and going on with it, because he hung a bit in his last and did it again today. Still, he was much more aggressive in here and we just need to get a win into him to get his confidence back."
Coach Jimi Lee paid $4.20, $2.60, and $2.20. Cashel Castle brought back $3.40 and $2.80. Silver Bid, the early pace setter, held on for third and paid $3.00 to show. The $2 5-6 Exacta paid $14.80. The $2 5-6-2 Trifecta paid $52.40. The $2 5-6-2-3 Superfecta brought back $85.40.