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Coil Struts Stuff in Affirmed

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Photo: Hollywood Park
For the second time in six years, trainer Bob Baffert won the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap with a son of Point Given.

 

Following in the steps of 2006 winner Point Determined, Coil successfully stretched out Saturday, defeating Runflatout and four others in the Grade III.

 

Perfect in three starts since being privately purchased by Baffert for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the 3-year-old chestnut won by one length in 1:42.88 for the 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track.

 

Out of the Theatrical mare Eversmile, Coil, the 9-10 favorite, moved inside of stablemate Awesome Patriot as that one coasted through slow opening fractions, gained the lead on the far turn, and went on to his first graded victory.

 

Third going 6 ½ furlongs in his debut last Oct. 9 when owned by breeder Glen Hill Farm and trained by Tom Proctor, Coil is now 3-for-4 and has earned $118,560.

 

Martin Garcia became the third different rider to win with Coil – joining Joel Rosario and Alonso Quinonez – as the Florida bred paid $3.80, $2.80 and $2.40. Runflatout, who finished four lengths clear of  third place finisher Spud Spivens, paid $4.20 and $3.40. The show price on Spud Spivens was $3.60.

 

“I wished I could have reversed posts with (Awesome Patriot),’’ said Baffert. “He (Garcia) said he couldn’t hold him they were going so slow. He was still pretty green when he made the lead and coming down to the wire.

 

“I was hoping to get a good Point Given. He’s just getting better and better. I was pretty impressed today with him, what he did and the way he did it. He’s still learning how to run.’’

 

Baffert said the primary target for Coil is the $1 million Haskell Invitational July 31 at Monmouth Park. The Hall of Fame trainer mentioned two possible races prior to the Haskell – the $150,000 Dwyer Stakes July 2 at Belmont Park and the $150,000 Swaps Stakes July 9 at Hollywood Park.

 

Favored Killer Graces rallied in the final quarter of a mile to win the $77,530 Cinderella Stakes.

 

Beaten by a nose in her debut May 1, Killer Graces was purchased privately after the race by Gillian Campbell, Steve Melon and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

 

A 2-year-old daughter of Congaree and the Old Trieste mare Heatherdoesntbluff, Killer Graces settled off the pace under Talamo, found an opening between horses early in the stretch, eventually getting the lead near the wire as the 4-5 favorite.

 

Increasing her bankroll to $53,530, Killer Graces paid $3.60, $3 and $2.40 while completing the 5 ½ furlongs over Cushion Track in 1:04.48. The margin of victory was 1 ¼ lengths.

 

Chloe W, a first time starter trained by Eric Kruljac, completed the exacta at 22-1. She pressed the pace outside eventual fourth place finisher Gogi, then could not contain the winner late. Ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, Chloe W. returned $10.40 and $5.20. Willa B Awesome, who was trying to give jockey Rafael Bejarano his third win in the last four renewals of the Cinderella, paid $2.80 to show. She finished three-quarters of a length behind Chloe W.

 

“The last two times we worked her five-eighths and she rated behind horses and was comfortable going around,’’ said Hollendorfer. “I’m glad that she rated. We bought her shortly after her first start.’’

 

Hollendorfer said Killer Graces will likely return in the $100,000 Landaluce Stakes July 16.

 

 

 

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