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
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