Over the course of the past eight years, Who’s the Cowboy
has proven himself a hot commodity at one turn.
The 9-year-old gelding by Intensity has won 17 of his 18 victories while
sprinting, but on Saturday he’s set to go two turns as he takes on five rivals
in the featured $100,000 Charles Hesse III Handicap on New Jersey Thoroughbred
Festival Day at Monmouth Park.
“He just got beat at two turns last out,” said trainer Chuck
Spina, who claimed Who’s the Cowboy two back for $15,000. “He’s such a good old horse and this race
should set up for his running style.”
The typical style for Who’s the Cowboy is to sit off the
speed before coming with his run in the stretch. In the mile and a sixteenth Hesse, he should
have plenty of speed out in front of him with the likes of At the Disco,
Hermosillo, Gunfighter and Hung Jury all entered in the Jersey-bred restricted
“All but two of them in there have shown good speed,” Spina
said. “I’m hoping it all sets up for
us. At least that’s the plan.”
With more than $1 million in earnings, Who’s the Cowboy
sports a lifetime mark of 18-12-12 from 67 starts. He began his racing career back in 2004,
winning at second asking. For years he
knocked heads with Joey P., as the two New Jersey-breds were embroiled in quite
a rivalry at the Jersey Shore.
On Saturday, Who’s the Cowboy will be reunited with jockey
Pedro Cotto Jr., who rode the gelding in the Friendly Lover Handicap back in 2007. They have been installed at 5-1 by morning
line oddsmaker Brad Thomas.
In addition to the Hesse Handicap, Festival Day hosts two
additional stakes events: the $60,000
New Jersey Breeders’ Handicap with defending champion Dabnabit and the $60,000
Jersey Girl Handicap, which has drawn last year’s winner Emily Allstar.