(from Sam Houston report)
William S. Farish's homebred Student Council blazed to a 3 1/4-length victory in Saturday night's $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park.
The 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Kingmambo captured the first stakes of his career under Robby Albarado for trainer Neil Howard. The favorite in the field of 10 paid $5.80, $3.40, and $2.60.
Student Council came into the race with allowance wins at Turfway Park and Keeneland and scored his most recent victory on Jan. 4 at Fair Grounds with Albarado aboard. Over the track listed as good due to heavy rainfall throughout the week, Student Council was rated nicely mid-pack by Albarado in the early stages of the race as 18-1 shot Charming Socialite set a realistic pace in the 1 1/8-mile event.
The first quarter was run in :23.12, the half-mile in :47.63 and six furlongs in 1:12.53. Student Council mounted a serious bid in the stretch after making a four-wide move on the far turn, gaining command after hitting the stretch. The bay horse drew off, crossing the wire in 1:51.89.
"It's been a long time coming,” said Joe DeSantis, Howard's assistant trainer. “He's a late-maturing colt and is really coming around. He was so good today; he was acting very professional at the barn and this was a real turnaround for him."
Mr. Pursuit ($2.80, $3), shipping to Houston off a three-race win streak at Remington Park last fall, closed for second under rider Cliff Berry. He won back-to-back stakes in Oklahoma including the $250,000 Oklahoma Derby.
“I don’t think he liked the racetrack that much,” commented trainer Joseph Petalino. “He’s never really done well in that kind of going. That’s probably the reason he dropped that far back out of it. He came at them at the end, though.”
Goosey Moose ($6.80), who has always run well in state-bred company, gave a good account of himself in the open ranks, finishing third under rider Don Simington, 4 1/4 lengths behind the winner.
Student Council earned $60,000, increasing his lifetime bankroll to $196,176. Defending champion Middleweight ran fourth followed by Laura’s Choice, More Than Regal, Real Echo, Golden Glen, Charming Socialite, and Andanight.