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