09/11/2009 11:00PM

Copper State gets win in Central Iowa


Copper State has been ambitiously spotted since joining Steve Asmussen's stable in spring 2008. She has rewarded owner Ro Parra's Millennium Farms a few times with valuable Grade 1 placings, including when second to champion Ginger Punch in Saratoga's 2008 renewal of the Go For Wand. On Friday evening, she was sent off the 4-5 favorite in the $50,000 Central Iowa Stakes in a quest to win her first stakes race against open company.

The 5-year-old Illinois-bred daughter of Jump Start stalked and pounced, held chief rival Taptam safe by 2 1/4 lengths, and scored her first victory since November 2007. Handled confidently by Israel Ocampo, she tracked Maren's Meadow's solid fractions of 23.69 seconds and 47.99 over the 1 1/16 miles. Copper State moved to the front on the far turn and responded well to Ocampo's urging in the stretch.

Taptam, a Lone Star Park shipper from Bret Calhoun's stable, swung four wide turning for home and gamely chased Copper State home. Locally based Celeritas, dismissed by the public at odds to 24-1, made a bold move on the far turn and stayed to finish third.

Collecting $30,000 for her connections, Copper State paid $3.60 to win in the field of seven.