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Coil Sharp in Del Mar Comeback

Coil, with Martin Garcia aboard, wins the 2011 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood.
Pegram, Watson and Weitman’s classy Coil, one of the top three-year-olds in America last year but unraced since October, showed he hasn’t lost a step in the meantime with an authoritative victory in the $78,000 Merrill Lynch Purse Thursday at Del Mar.

With jockey Rafael Bejarano aboard for his third win on the program, Coil rallied from slightly off the pace to wear down the opposition in the stretch and win by a length in 1:22.39 for the seven furlongs on the main track.

Mensa Heat closed well to be second, with Great Warrior third and Private Zone, the early pacesetter, fourth in the field of eight older Thoroughbreds. Comma to the Top was scratched to run in Sunday’s Bing Crosby Stakes.

Coil, a son of Point Given trained by Bob Baffert, won the Grade I $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park as the highlight of his sophomore campaign and then went to the sidelines after finishing third against older horses in the Goodwood Handicap.

Coil went postward the 4-5 favorite on the basis of several fast workouts and returned $3.60, $2.80 and $2.20 after his fifth success in nine starts. Mensa Heat paid $5.40 and $3.80, while Great Warrior paid $4.20 to show.

Coil provided Bejarano with his third of four winners Thursday. He won the opener on Ambitoness ($4), the fifth on the Baffert-conditioned Maker or Breaker ($5.40) and capped his day aboard Midnight Con ($6.80) in the eighth.

Bejarano’s quadruple vaulted him into a tie for the top spot in the jockey standings with Garrett Gomez, each with 13 wins thus far this summer. Gomez, who won three races Wednesday, blanked Thursday.

Attendance Thursday was 10,636.


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