10/06/2012 8:33PM

Santa Anita: Coil all out to win Sprint Championship

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Benoit & Associates
Coil (inside) stays a head in front of Capital Account to win the Santa Anita 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.

[Breeders’ Cup Challenge 2012: Replays of all the Win and You’re In races]

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."