03/03/2017 11:41AM

Cohn gets much-needed win from 37-1 longshot Purgenality


It was not a good year for trainer Alice Cohn in 2016, and it has not been a good winter at Fair Grounds.

Cohn, who has run a small string on the Kentucky and New Orleans circuits and steadily won her share of races during a long career, has seen her stable shrink in recent seasons. That number dwindled even further in December when one of Cohn’s horses was stricken with the neurologic strain of the equine herpesvirus and had to be euthanized.

As of last week, the Cohn barn consisted of two horses in active training, and Cohn, who still gets on her own stock, was riding one of them when the beast bolted coming off the half-mile gap following her training session. Cohn wound up on the ground and was lucky to have sustained nothing worse than a concussion.

Tuesday was Mardi Gras in New Orleans, with wild stuff happening all over the city. The fourth race at Fair Grounds consisted of just six runners, but the Cohn-trained Purgenality still was somehow 37-1. He went to the lead under Shaun Bridgmohan and was briefly headed but came again to win a $20,000 claimer by 1 1/2 lengths. Cohn owns the gelding herself. After an 0-for-18 season in 2016, Cohn was 1 for 1 in 2017.

“No one was more shocked than we were that he won,” Cohn said. “You never know what that horse is going to do. I know his problems are between his ears. He’s got ability. He’s 9 years old now. I bought him as a 2-year-old at the Timonium sale for Jim and Susan Hill.”

Cohn, of course, showed up for work at the barn the morning after she hit her head.

“I’m pretty good,” she said Wednesday. “Feeling a lot better.”

And better still after Purgenality surprisingly led home a parade Tuesday.