Cool Cowboy sped away from the field at the three-eighths pole on his way to a 3 1/2-length victory in the $100,000 Inaugural S. Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs (VIDEO
). The 2-year-old colt is the first stakes winner for his sire Kodiak Kowboy, whose 14 winners this year ties him for the top spot on the 2013 Freshman Sire list.
After fractions of 21.67 and 45.05 seconds for the half-mile with a one-length lead, Cool Cowboy extended his lead on the turn under jockey Eduardo Perez, zipping through the stretch to complete the six furlongs in 1:11.13 on a fast track.
“He is easy to train. He makes me look good,” said Bennett. “He’s just fast, and you have to let him run his race.
“I told Eduardo he was on the best horse and to take it right to them. There was no point in trying to be cute or outmaneuver anyone,” Bennett said. “Just let him run his race and go get them.”
“He got a bit restless waiting to get into the gate, but once he gets in it’s all business,” Perez added. “The post was good for us and the first jump, he was in the bridle. When we broke so well, I was able to let him settle and wait on the leaders.
“I asked him for run getting into the turn, and we just ran by them.”
The victory was the third in five lifetime starts for the Kentucky-bred son of Grand Breeze, who is owned by John Santina’s Savoy Stable, LLC. Brent Fernung paid $110,000 for Cool Cowboy on behalf of Santina at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Bennett said he will wait to see before selecting Cool Cowboy's next race. “The (seven-furlong, $100,000 Pasco S. on Jan. 4 at Tampa Bay Downs) is definitely on our radar, but I don’t want to circle any races until the horse tells me how he’s doing,” Bennett said. “Everything is contingent on him – what point he is at and where he is physically.”