07/03/2016 8:36AM

The Pickett Factor edges Mobile Bay in Louisiana Legends Classic

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Coady Photography
The Pickett Factor (yellow blinkers) defeats Mobile Bay by a neck in the Louisiana Legends Classic.

The Pickett Factor and Mobile Bay put on a show in their first meeting at 4 on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs. The frequent rivals dueled through the stretch in the track’s $125,000 Louisiana Legends Classic, with The Pickett Factor edging Mobile Bay by a neck.

“It was a dogfight,” said winning trainer Ralph Irwin.

The Classic was one of seven stakes on the annual Louisiana Legends Night card at Evangeline. The races were worth a total of $725,000, making the program the richest of the meet. The stakes were all restricted to horses bred in Louisiana.

The Pickett Factor ($6.40) broke on top in the Classic and after taking the field through an opening quarter-mile in 25.39 seconds was joined by Mobile Bay. The pair continued through a half-mile in 48.92 and six furlongs in 1:12.28. In the stretch it was on, with The Pickett Factor battling even-money favorite Mobile Bay to the wire. The Pickett Factor covered 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.28.

“I tell you what, he fought,” said John Jacinto, who rode The Pickett Factor. “He really fought. He saw the horse inside and never let him by. He showed a lot of heart today.”

One King’s Man finished third, 8 1/4 lengths behind Mobile Bay.

The Pickett Factor has now won 7 of 12 starts and $401,890. He races for Melissa Cantacuzene. The Pickett Factor is a son of Gold Tribute and was bred by E.O. Pickett.

The Classic was one of two stakes victories on the card for Jacinto, who also captured the $100,000 Turf with String King.

String King wins third Turf

String King won the Louisiana Legends Turf for the third time in his career when he rolled to a length win over Four Leaf Chief. It was another neck back in third to Benwill.

 

“He’s a classy horse,” Jacinto said of String King. “I let him run his race and he did what he had to do.”

String King ($5.40) has now won 19 of 43 starts and the $60,000 he earned Saturday lifted his career bankroll to $1,071,052. Charlie Smith bred, owns, and trains String King, who is a son of Crowned King.

Cox closes out big Saturday

Trainer Brad Cox, who sent out Spelling Again to win the Grade 2 Princess Rooney on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, closed out his day with a stakes double at Evangeline. Cox won the $100,000 Soiree when Believe in Bertie ($3) wired the field by two lengths. The trainer then accounted for the $100,000 Cheval when Extra Credit ($4) powered to a 2 3/4-length win over pacesetter Zendelphian. 

Shaun Bridgmohan was aboard both Evangeline winners for owners Richard and Bertram Klein.

Believe in Bertie became a stakes winner in the Soiree. She is a daughter of Langfuhr. Extra Credit was winning his second straight stakes in the Cheval. He is a son of Proud Citizen.

* Believeinsomething ($8.60) withstood a stretch challenge from Forest Lake for a three-quarter length win in the $100,000 Distaff. Roberto Morales was aboard the winner for her owner and trainer, Brian Schweda. Believeinsomething covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.16. She is a daughter of Etbauer.

* Wheatfield ($7.80) caught pacesetter Smittys Cougar on the wire for a nose win in the $100,000 Mademoiselle. The winner covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.81. Diego Saenz was aboard for Tigertail Ranch and trainer Danny Pish. Whitfield is a daughter of Lone Star Special.

* C U Tiger ($21.40) came rolling down the lane for a 2 1/2- length win over Sir Genghis in the $100,000 Sprint. He covered 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.15. Alex Cortez, who was winning the first stakes race of his career, was aboard for co-owner and trainer Roland Bruno. C U Tiger, a son of Indian Territory, also races for Bill Langford.