Flying Zee Stable’s odds-on choice Cosmonaut made it back-to-back victories in the $200,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) when once again wiring his rivals on Saturday, reporting home by the same 2 1/4-length margin as a year ago.
The Patrick Biancone-trained son of Lemon Drop Kid --Cosmic Fire (Capote) covered the 1 1/4-mile distance over “good” turf in 2:01.32.
“He was relaxed in front all alone,” said winning rider Julien Leparoux. “He has a good kick. When he relaxes like this, he’s shown before that he’s a very good horse. He ran a very good race.”
The 5-year-old horse cruised through leisurely fractions of :25.40, :49.60, 1:13.10 and 1:37.09 en route to the facile score, his sixth in 24 starts. He earned $115,200 to boost his bankroll to $700,557.
The Arlington Handicap serves as the final local prep for the Arlington Million (gr. IT), which will be run on Aug. 11. Cosmonaut ran fifth in last year’s Million and Biancone indicated that he will again point to Arlington’s signature race.
“We ran in the Arlington Million (last year) and he was beaten by two lengths,” the trainer said. “Hopefully, we’ll come back in three weeks and run better.”
Nine-year-old gelding Revved Up rallied in the stretch to get up for second. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to third-place finisher Go Between, who finished a neck better than I Believe in Me.
“I had a perfect trip,” said Revved Up’s rider Rene Douglas. “What can I say? He’s a very classy old man. I sat in good position and I thought I had a shot at catching the horse in front of me until I realized it was (Cosmonaut) in front of me, and then I knew I had to ask him to give me everything he had.”
I Believe in Me was followed by Gray Suitor, Lord Carmen, Meadow Vespers, Murch and Come On Jazz.
Sent off at the 7-10 odds, Cosmonaut paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10. Revved Up returned $3.80 and $2.40. Go Between, ridden by Robby Albarado, paid $2.60.