07/29/2017 10:10PM

Pink Cotton triumphant in turnback for Duke City Sprint

Coady Photography
Pink Cotton picked up his first stakes victory in Saturday's 5 1/2-furlong Duke City Sprint at The Downs at Albuquerque.

Pink Cotton cut back to one turn and became a stakes winner on Saturday night, when he led throughout for a three-quarter length victory over Evolve in the $50,000 Duke City Sprint at The Downs at Albuquerque. It was another length back to Ranger Rod in third.

The Duke City Sprint was a 5 1/2-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds.

Pink Cotton ($4) was turning back in distance from a mile, but was sharp from the start under Elvin Gonzalez, as he set fractions of 22.51 seconds for the opening quarter and 44.93 for the half-mile. Pink Cotton went on to cover the distance on a fast track in 1:04.29.

Following the race, an objection was lodged against Pink Cotton and Evolve by the rider of Ranger Rod, but no change was made to the order of finish.

Pink Cotton had won 2 of 3 starts sprinting before finishing sixth in the Prairie Meadows Mile in his start leading up to the Duke City. The horse was a maiden winner in April at Sunland, then captured a first-level allowance at Prairie Meadows. Pink Cotton races for Teed Off Stable and is trained by Bart Hone.

"I think his last race goes to show us that he’s a sprinter," John Wilkins, a managing partner in Teed Off Stable, told officials at Albuquerque. "I don’t think two turns are in his future, so we’ll keep him sprinting.

"We want to keep him in New Mexico and we want to keep him sprinting. So hopefully you’ll see him one more time here, and then maybe we’ll point him toward the Sunland Park meet during the winter." 

Pink Cotton earned $30,000 for the win, his third from five starts. He now has career earnings of $66,750. Pink Cotton is a son of High Cotton and he was bred in Florida by Winchester Baye Acres. His dam, Lady in Pink, was a stakes winner who earned $166,230.