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Breeders Cup 2015

HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Close Hatches Impresses in the Cotillion

Close Hatches picked up right where she left off in June by finding the winner’s circle in a grade one race. Close Hatches defeated a very strong field of nine three year-old fillies in the $1,000,000 Cotillion (G1) at Parx Racing. The Bill Mott trainee had not raced since June 22 when she won the Mother Goose (G1) at Belmont Park by seven and a quarter lengths.
Close Hatches was sent off as the 8-5 wagering favorite in a field that included five graded stakes winners. Sweet Lulu was the only other grade one winner and she was the 3-1 second choice. The betting public had the race figured out perfectly.
Sweet Lulu broke quickly from the gate and headed right to the early lead going the first quarter mile in :23-4. However, right away My Happy Face and Close Hatches went up to challenge the leader. The three of them ran to the backstretch within a neck of each other with Sweet Lulu on the rail, Close Hatches on the outside, and My Happy Face was between horses.
After a half mile in :47-1 My Happy Face dropped back and Close Hatches and Sweet Lulu went head to head. The three-quarters went in 1:10-2 and Close Hatches began to draw away down the stretch. Sweet Lulu showed great determination by hanging in for second place.
Close Hatches came down with a fever after the Mother Goose and had to miss the entire Saratoga race meeting. She was so sick that she did not put in a recorded workout until August 20th. Yet Bill Mott, who is not known for rushing his horses in their training, managed to get this Juddmonte Farms filly ready to run.
With the win Close Hatches recorded her second grade one victory of the year and she stamped herself as a challenger to Princess of Sylmar for the divisional championship. Actually Close Hatches was last the horse to defeat Princess of Sylmar and that happened in April at Aqueduct in the Gazelle (G2).
Close Hatches paid $5.20 to win and the exacta with Sweet Lulu paid $19.20. That was the exacta of the top two favorites and the only two horses to enter the race with a grade one victory.
Bill Mott could very well be heading into the Breeders' Cup Distaff with the powerful duo of Royal Delta and Close Hatches. After today’s race Mott very proudly said, “They’re a great pair of fillies.”



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Older Comments about Close Hatches Impresses in the Cotillion...

I agree Ashley, Sweet Lulu will be a heck of a sprinter!
Looks like Sweet Lulu will probably stick with going a mile at most. Close Hatches was very impressive today.
It won't be easy to eventually replace Royal Delta in the Mott barn, but this one is doing pretty well so far.

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


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