01/23/2016 7:16PM

Ageless Absolutely Cool wins third straight stakes in Hank Mills Handicap

Coady Photography
The 9-year-old Absolutely Cool solidified his status as the top sprinter on the grounds by winning the Hank Mills Handicap.

PHOENIX – Proving he may indeed be better than ever, 9-year-old Absolutely Cool showed the kids he’s the best sprinter at Turf Paradise, using his late run again to capture Saturday’s $35,000 Hank Mills Sr. Handicap.

Owned by Karl Krieg and trained by Valorie Lund, Absolutely Cool ($7) won the Bienvenidos and Luke Kruytbosch, both sprint stakes here in the fall, and made it three straight wins in this 5 1/2-furlong event. As usual, he was devoid of speed under Jake Barton, biding his time early, sitting last in the field of eight as Rockin Home set a sizzling pace of 21.53 and 43.99 seconds under pressure from Omar. Absolutely Cool, remained well back to the top of the lane, swung wide for clear sailing, and powered home to get up in the final strides to win by three-quarters of a length. Storm Power finished well for second while Omar held on nicely for third just a half-length back.

A gelded son of Absolute Harmony, Absolutely Cool ran the distance in 1:02.37. The winner’s share of $21,049 gives him earnings of $366,391 from 11 wins in 42 starts. This sets him up perfectly for a defense of his title in the meet’s marquee event, the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup, at six furlongs here Feb. 13, though there may be a few Southern California raiders targeting that race, which will make it tougher.