11/26/2005 1:00AM

Private Vow gets consolation prize

Four-Footed Fotos
Private Vow, eased to finish last in the BC Juvenile, pulls away to a 2 1/4-length win in the Kentucky Jockey Club.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Private Vow erased the memory of his troubled journey in the Breeders' Cup and stamped himself as a horse to watch for the spring classics by dominating the Grade 2, $222,400 on Saturday, closing day of the Churchill Downs fall meet.

Ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, Private Vow waited just behind front-running High Cotton before pulling abreast midway through the far turn of the 1 1/16-mile KJC. Down the stretch, Private Vow steadily edged away under steady urging, finishing 2 1/4 lengths ahead of a resolute High Cotton, who saved second by 1 3/4 lengths over Hyte Regency.

Private Vow, a 2-year-old Broken Vow colt owned by Mike McCarty, returned $3.40 as the heavy favorite after finishing in 1:45.80 over a fast track.

Private Vow was eased to finish 14th and last in the Oct. 29 BC Juvenile after a rein broke on the run down the backstretch. Trainer Steve Asmussen had insisted the colt would redeem himself in the KJC, calling him "an awesome horse" earlier in the week.

Bridgmohan said Private Vow is "a pretty handy little horse. Obviously he was the class of the race. He was there all the time I wanted. He showed up and ran his race today. Steve did a great job of putting that Breeders' Cup mishap behind him."

Before an ontrack crowd of 10,127, High Cotton, ridden by Robby Albarado, led through fractions of 24.28 seconds, 48.95, and 1:13.55 before Private Vow and Hyte Regency moved to challenge. Those three pulled away from the rest of the field, as Red Raymond finished fourth, ahead of Catcominatcha, Great Point, and International Cat. Carse was an early scratch, leaving a field of seven.

Asmussen said Private Vow would soon head to the Palm Meadows training center in south Florida.

Private Vow was 10-1 in the BC Juvenile when entered off a nine-length victory in the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont in his previous start. He now has won 4 of 6 starts overall.