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Santa Anita: Coil all out to win Sprint Championship
ARCADIA, Calif. - Coil seems capable of winning Grade 1 races at any distance.
In 2011, he won the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational over 1 1/8 miles at Monmouth Park, the highlight of a season of two stakes wins.
Coil had yet to have a notable highlight this year - until the $250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Saturday. Making his first start at six furlongs in 17 months, Coil won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship by a head over Capital Account.
Jimmy Creed finished third, edging 4-5 favorite Amazombie, who finished outside the first three for the first time in a span of 17 races, since August 2010 at Del Mar. The first two finishers are trained by Bob Baffert.
The victory gives Coil an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Sprint here on Nov. 3 through the Win and You're In program.
Winning jockey Martin Garcia said Coil is the sort of mount that keeps a jockey busy during a race.
"I had a lot of horse," he said. "When I got to the lead, he stopped to see if someone else was coming. You can't leave him alone, or he doesn't try."
Coil ($17.20) was timed in 1:09.89.
The fifth choice in the betting, Coil was fifth in the field of seven on the backstretch, chasing Castletown, who set an early pace of 21.69 and 44.94 seconds.
Coil moved three wide on the turn, and continued wide through the stretch. He took the lead before the eighth pole and was fully extended to beat Capital Account, who won the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar in August.
Jimmy Creed, a 3-year-old, closed from fifth in the final quarter-mile to finish third, three-quarters of a length behind Capital Account.
Amazombie's loss surprised jockey Mike Smith. Last year, Amazombie won the Breeders' Cup Sprint and was named champion sprinter. The Santa Anita Sprint Championship was his first start since a win in the Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar in July.
"He came up a little short," Smith said. "We want to improve off that, and he should. The Bing Crosby might have been a little easier than I thought."
Martin Garcia is a Very Talented Rider. I am glad he reunied with Baffert. Baffert dumped him earlier in the year. He also dumped Chantal Sutherland - she was suspended in Canada. I believe she had too much alcohol in her system. You can't blame her for drinking. She lost the mount of a lifetime.
To bet more THAN $2.00 on AMAZOMBIE you have to TRUST the INTEGRITY of One BILL SPAWR, which I personally DON'T so here's how it goes. Ok Mikey IF you have a SHOT at the HEAD of the STRETCH go AHEAD with him, but REMEMBER we've GOT a BIG payday in a COUPLE OF WEEKS..WINK, WINK.Now IF Pedroza was riding the ZOMBIE he would IGNORE Spraws "Double Talk" and BEAT the Hell out of AMAZOMBIE To win this $250,000 purse TODAY........
Mike Smith has a book full of excuses and crap. But make no mistake this is a money jock and loves limelight, he will figure somewhere in Breeders Cup and make a headline.
Amazombie will improve off this. Coil was used too hard. Educated guess for BC Sprint. N.Y. bred Lumber Guy. Fresh off Vosberg win, bred to sprint, classy old school connections..
Track is way to cuppy, did anyone notice Coil when he cambe back to the winners circle, he had that sticky sand all over his body. Capital Account will no doubt win the BC sprint, all he does is come in 1st or 2nd every race, look for a winning effort in the BC sprint at a nice price.
Just an observation from an older horseman. How many times did Garcia strike Coil coming down the stretch? Answer- Too many!
Was anybody surprised that Amazombie didn't win? If he's already entered in the breeder's cup, why would he go all out in this prep race? The purse yesterday was 250 thou. What's the prize in the breeder's cup? A million? There were too many question yesterday so I had to back him up. Coil is an excellent dirt horse and beat similar in Shackleford. Shackleford recently beat Amazombie in a 7 furlong sprint at Churchhill. Trainer, Bill Spawr, had know Coil was strong enough to zap the defending Champ. I would hope the real Amazombie shows up for the big event.
With all respect to Coil, who was winning his 2nd career grade 1 race at a distance 3 furlongs shorter than his first, this was a disappointing race. They ran about 4 lengths slower than the 2 year old filly Beholder did on Thursday, and just a few ticks faster than ungraded 2 year olds earlier on the card. Assuming the track didn't change much during the week, I'm expecting a Beyer of about 98. That's not going to cut it in the BC Sprint. This low Beyer is largely a result of the field's one legit proven grade 1 6 furlong dirt sprinter, Amazombie, running a stinker. I suppose one could argue that the first quarter, run in 21 and 3, which is flying on this slower SA maintrack, distorted the race, and took some starch out of Amazombie. Given how they all finished up, not only was Amazombie possibly too close to the pace and moved too soon, but so was Coil. However, I don't fully buy that, and find it disconcerting that Amazombie was only able to beat the horse setting that pace, Castletown, by half a length. The way Amazombie shortened stride late was reminiscent of his races at 7 furlongs. Prior to yesterday's race, Amazombie hadn't run out of the money in the last 2 years, and was virtually unbeatable at 6 furlongs. Plus, he was running at a track he's had great success over. So, I'm having trouble finding excuses for him. Mike Smith suggested after the race that the horse might have been short. That's possible, but based on the clocker reports going in, and from Spawr and Smith's comments beforehand, if Amazombie was short it wasn't by design. Sure, they wanted to leave some gas in the tank, but given the moderate final time I have to believe they still expected to win. A related possibility is that Amazombie has difficulty now putting big races back-to-back. He started the year with a moderate effort in the San Carlos, barely holding on for 3rd, then won the Potrero Grande, then ran 2nd in the Churchill Down Cap, before winning the Bing Crosby. It should be noted, though, that those 2 losses came at 7 furlongs. A second possibility is that Amazombie simply doesn't like this heavier, more sandy surface as much as the glib strip he's raced over the last couple of years at Santa Anita. If the problem was the former, then it can be corrected through training, but if it's the latter, there's not much to do outside of praying for the maintenance crew to get the track back to the consistency of last year and this winter.
lolol, surprised mike smith? im surprised mike smith can even find his way to the track in the morning to ride. that guys so lost on a horse he needs a thomas guide to find the finish line.
Nice win by Coil, he's having quite a nice season after his 3yo year ended on a lackluster note. I think 6f might be a bit on the short side for Capital Account, he was able to get past Coil last time at 7f. Surprised that Amazombie could only manage 4th, looked ready to go then just flattened, on the plus side, he could move forward off this effort. All three should run well back in the BC. Disappointed in Reneesgotzip's performance. Didn't expect her to win necessarily, but thought she'd give a better showing than she did.
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