Favored Cool Conductor showed plenty of versatility in winning his first graded stakes Saturday, the $250,000 Hawthorne Derby (gr. IIIT), coming from off the pace with jockey Jose Santos to nip Bankruptcy Court by neck in the final strides.
Cool Conductor, a 3-year-old son of Stravinsky trained by Bill Mott for owner David E. Garner, ended a five-race losing streak after forgoing his usual front-running style to settle in the middle of the pack while saving ground. Santos guided him out for the drive and they collared Bankruptcy Court and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan just in time. The final time for the 1 1/8-mile turf event for sophomores in 1:47 4/5.
Bankruptcy Court had slipped through along the inside to open up by a couple of lengths in mid-stretch, but he couldn't hold off the late-charging Cool Conductor. Crown Prince, 45-1, wound up third, 1 1/4 lengths behind.
Cool Conductor warmed up for the Hawthorne Derby with a fourth-place finish in the one-mile Storm Cat at Keeneland Oct. 10.
Western Ridge set the pace (:23 2/5, :47 2/5 and 1:11 2/5) before giving way to Bankruptcy Court in the stretch.
The Kentucky-bred Cool Conductor, a $100,000 Keeneland September yearling sale in 2002, won for the third time in 12 starts overall. The $150,000 winner's share pushed his career total to $341,846.
He paid $5, $3 and $2.60. Bankruptcy Court returned $4.20 and $3.20. Crown Prince, who was ridden by Larry Sterling, showed for $9.40.
Cockleshell finished fourth, followed by Gwaihir, Lord Carmen, Hunting Hillbilly, Cowboy Code, Western Ridge and Double Shotgun.