Jim Tafel’s homebred Looking Cool certainly kept his cool in the heat of battle down the Prairie Meadows stretch June 29 to prevail by a neck at 17-1 odds in the $250,000 Iowa Derby (gr. III) (VIDEO).
The son of Candy Ride —Coolwind, by Forest Wildcat, put it all together in his sixth start of the year to win his first stakes. The victory was also the first stakes win of the year for the veteran team of Tafel and trainer Carl Nafzger, who together made history by winning both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with Street Sense .
Longshot Looking Cool faced sixth other challengers in the 1 1/16-mile race.
As anticipated, favored Our Double Play took the early lead and was tracked closely by Manando through fractions of :23.39, :46.99, and 1:11.54. A strung-out field started to close the gaps as it passed through the second turn, with Looking Cool, fifth for a half-mile, cutting his distance from the leaders in half.
Straightening out into the top of the stretch, Looking Cool was still on his left lead. Once jockey Leandro Goncalves gave a corrective pull and kick toward the outside, Looking Cool got on his right lead, straightened out, and drove hard at Betweenhereandcool, who was making his own move to pass Our Double Play.
Looking Cool dug in gamely in the final strides to get the narrow victory. Betweenhereandcool finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Shadwell homebred and second choice Bashaar, who had been 14 lengths behind the leaders down the backstretch. Our Double Play, the 13-10 choice in the field of seven 3-year-olds faded to fourth, three-quarters of a length behind Bashaar.