05/15/2008 11:00PM

Student Council rallies in Special


BALTIMORE - Student Council entered Friday's $250,000 Pimlico Special as the only Grade 1 winner in the field and he left the race the same way.

Under Shaun Bridgmohan, Student Council rallied from well off the pace and was able to run down front-running Gottcha Gold to win the Grade 1 Pimlico Special by a neck at soggy Pimlico. Gottcha Gold finished 5 3/4 lengths ahead of Sir Whimsey, who was followed by Temporary Saint, Grasshopper, Ryan's for Real, and Xchanger.

A. P. Arrow, the morning-line favorite, and Wanderin Boy were both scratched after displaying colic-like symptoms.

Student Council, owned by Ro Parra's Millennium Farms and trained by Steve Asmussen, broke a four-race losing streak in the Pimlico Special. He had won the Grade 1 Pacific Classic last summer at Del Mar and the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in September. He skipped the Breeders' Cup Classic to run in the Japan Cup Dirt, where he finished a well-beaten eighth.

Parra said he didn't want to retire Student Council on that note and opted to bring him back as a 6-year-old.

"I'm sure glad we made the decision to keep him in training," Parra said after the race.

Gottcha Gold, under Chuck Lopez, set fractions of 23.87 seconds, 47.46, and 1:11.39 while being chased by Xchanger and Temporary Saint.

Bridgmohan had Student Council in sixth position and toward the outside down the backside. Student Council launched his bid entering the far turn and came into the stretch five wide. Student Council wore down Gottcha Gold with about 20 yards to go. Student Council, a 6-year-old son of Kingmambo, covered the 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.87 over a muddy track and returned $16.40.

"It seemed like he had enough pace in there - all I did was find him a spot for him to run," Bridgmohan said. "They were bunching up [at the quarter pole], so I opted to take him to the outside just to find somewhere to go."

While disappointed he didn't win, Eddie Plesa, trainer of Gottcha Gold, said he was happy with his horse's performance.

"No excuses," Plesa said. "Listen, he finished second in a Grade 1 race, that means a lot to us. I don't think Chucky could have ridden a better race. He was exactly where he wanted to be. The only thing was that horse came and got him."

The biggest disappointment was Grasshopper, the 2-1 favorite, who made a mild move around the far turn but flattened out under Robby Albarado.

"He was there for him, and when he called on him he was just a little bit flat," trainer Neil Howard said.