12/08/2012 7:53PM

Turf Paradise: Absolutely Cool prevails in three-horse photo in Caballos del Sol

Coady Photography
Absolutely Cool rallies between horses to nip even-money favorite Derive by a nose in the Caballos del Sol.

PHOENIX  – Well, it had to end sometime. Derive had been the dominant horse at Turf Paradise the past couple seasons, going 7 for 7 here with multiple stakes wins that carried him to horse of the meet honors in 2011-2012. Well, the local kingpin finally got toppled but only just as Absolutely Cool rallied gamely to edge him by a nostril in Saturday’s $35,000 Caballos del Sol Stakes.

Owned by Karl Krieg and trained by Valorie Lund, Absolutely Cool bided his time early while heavily favored Derive dueled with Atta Boy Roy through dazzling splits  of 21.35 and 45.69 seconds in the six-furlong event. Derive held a narrow lead into the lane, finally seemed to get the best of Atta Boy Roy late but was immediately tackled by Absolutely Cool who prevailed by a nose. Derive, who ran huge in defeat under regular rider Jorge Carreno, finished a nose in front of outsider Seven Tuff, who was third in the field of seven. Atta Boy Roy faltered to fourth.

Absolutely Cool, ridden by Gallyn Mitchell, ran the distance in 1:09.56 and paid $10.40. The winner’s share of $21,266 gives him earnings of $97,348 from 5 wins in 17 starts. It was the 5-year-old’s first start in almost nine month and helped him avenge three straight losses to Derive here last winter/spring.

The $35,000 Swift here Jan. 26, a race in which he ran third last year to Derive, may be next for Absolutely Cool as well as Derive and Seven Tuff.