Upstaging the 143rd
running of the $1 million Belmont
Stakes (Grade I), the most impressive performance by a three-year-old on
Saturday came with Coil dispatching his five rivals as the 4-to-5 favorite in
the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap (Grade III) at Hollywood Park.
In his first try going long, the son of Point Given trained
by Bob Baffert pushed the envelope on the front end under Martin Garcia with his
stable mate Awesome Patriot, who faded to fifth as the 5-to-2 second choice.
“He (Garcia) said he couldn’t hold him. That they were going
so slow and he just took off with him and didn’t want to fight him,” said
Baffert. “He (Coil) was pretty impressive today with what he did and the way he
did it. He’s still learning how to run.”
Runflatout finished a length back in second as the 4-to-1
third choice while 9-to-1 shot Spud Spivens rounded out a $28.40 trifecta.
After Coil’s local debut in October, Baffert purchased the
colt privately from Thomas Proctor, but in his ensuing maiden breaking victory
a month later he suffered an injury that sidelined him for six months.
“He chipped a knee after his first start (for us), so I had
to take it out and he couldn’t make it (to the Triple Crown),” said Baffert. “He’s
immature, but he’s coming into his own now so the main thing will be to keep
him healthy. I think he looked a lot like his father today. He’s sort of a
better looking horse than Point Given.”
Coil moved over $100,000 in career earnings with his third
win from four starts and will likely run next in either the $150,000 Swaps
Stakes (Grade II) here at Hollywood Park on July 9 or the $150,000 Dwyer Stakes
(Grade II) at Belmont Park on July 2, with the ultimate goal being the
$1 million Haskell Invitational (Grade I) at Monmouth Park on July 31.
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