06/11/2011 6:01PM

Hollywood Park: Two turns no problem for Coil in Affirmed Handicap

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Benoit & Associates
Coil holds off Runflatout to win the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap by a length.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Coil was ready to take the lead on the backstretch of Saturday’s $100,000 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park, regardless of what jockey Martin Garcia thought.

Coil was second behind Awesome Patriot and very quickly found himself in front of Awesome Patriot, racing along the rail.

“He took me there,” Garcia said of Coil. “I saw the hole and didn’t want to fight him.”

The move proved decisive. Coil ($3.80) pulled away from Awesome Patriot in early stretch and held off a late threat from Runflatout to win the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap by a length in his first start around two turns.

The victory left Garcia with the impression that Coil can show more improvement with experience in longer races.

“I wasn’t surprised he ran that way,” Garcia said. “I thought I’d sit and see what’s under me. The pace was slow, and he pulled me.”

Coil ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.88. Runflatout finished four lengths clear of Spud Spivens, a 9-1 shot. Akkadian, Awesome Patriot, and Northern Indy completed the order of finish.

Coil, owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman and trained by Bob Baffert, has won 3 of 4 starts and $118,560. The Affirmed was his stakes debut and third consecutive win, preceded by a maiden race in November and an optional claimer over six furlongs here May 6, his 3-year-old debut.

The partnership and Baffert acquired Coil privately last fall from breeder Glen Hill Farm, following a third to Awesome Patriot in a maiden race in October. Coil is by Point Given, the Baffert-trained 3-year-old champion male of 2001.