Updated on 09/15/2011 1:41PM

Coyote Lakes does it again


JAMAICA, N.Y. - The New York Racing Association might want to consider changing the Gallant Fox Handicap* (click here for chart) to the Coyote Lakes Handicap for the 2002 running.

On Saturday at Aqueduct, Coyote Lakes, making his fourth consecutive Gallant Fox appearance, won the Grade 3 for the second time. Actually, for the second time in 2001 since the 2000 running was postponed due to a weather-related cancellation and run in 2001.

Coyote Lakes, a 7-year-old, won the $115,400 Gallant Fox, run at 1 5/8 miles on the inner track, by 2 3/4 lengths over Pleasant Divorce. It was another head back to Top Official in third. Grundlefoot, the slight 3-1 favorite over Coyote Lakes, finished sixth in the field of 12.

Jockey Mike Luzzi gave Coyote Lakes a well-judged ride by keeping his mount within firing distance of the early leaders in third position. A rank Paynes Bay set the pace in the three-turn race, but threw in the towel on the last turn after fractions of 49.45 seconds, 1:15.48, and a mile in 1:41.88. Top Official, who sat off Paynes Bay in second, looked like he was in the clear with a furlong remaining, but Coyote Lakes was relentless in his pursuit and drew clear late.

Still, Coyote Lakes's trainer, Bruce Levine, said he had a few anxious moments.

"I didn't know if he would catch Top Official turning for home; I thought we were going to be second," Levine said. "[Coyote Lakes] really surged in the last part of the race."

Luzzi said, "It takes about three-eighths of a mile to get him going, but when you're going a mile and five-eighths you've got the time to do that."

Coyote Lakes carried 116 pounds and covered the distance in 2:45.77 over a fast track.

Coyote Lakes ($8.40) is owned by Roddy Valente.

Levine has no immediate plans for Coyote Lakes, who he said nearly died two years ago from colic.

* Arromanches kept his win streak alive in the seventh race, but not by crossing the wire in front. Arromanches finished second, beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Trounce in the allowance race, but was put up to first because the winner came over on him in the stretch.

Now Arromanches, an 8-year-old, officially has nine consecutive wins, dating back to May 27.

for the Galant Fox Handicap chart.