Bear Now Wires Cotillion Field, Octave Second

Bear Now Wires Cotillion Field, Octave Second
Photo: AP/Equi-Photo, Bill Denver
Bear Now holds off favored Octave to win the Fitz Dixon.
Front-running Bear Now shook loose of the prohibitive favorite Octave in the final furlong to upset the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap (gr. II) by two lengths in stakes record time at Philadelphia Park Sept. 22.

Bear Stables’ 3-year-old filly Bear Now has now won four of her past five starts. Coming into the 1 1/16-mile Cotillion off an impressive 6 1/4-length victory in the Aug. 11 Dutchess Stakes over the Woodbine Polytrack, the bay daughter of Tiznow   took to an easy lead under jockey Jerry Baird and led six other starters through solid fractions of :23 2/5 for the quarter, :46 2/5 for the half and 1:10 for six furlongs. Exchanging Fire ran in second and Todd Pletcher trainee Octave, the 2-5 favorite, sat just off that one’s hip in third, followed by Talkin About Love.

When they hit the head of the stretch, Octave made a move on the outside and Talkin About Love made her bid for the lead on the inside. But Bear Now turned back her challengers and went on to win in a final time of 1:41 1/5. That shaved two-fifths of a second off the stakes mark set by Ashado in 2004 and was just two-fifths off the track record.

Bred in Kentucky by ClassicStar, Bear Now has six wins from 12 career starts for trainer Reade Baker, including a 9 3/4-length victory in Woodbine’s Hill ‘N’ Dale Stakes and an eight-length victory in the same track’s Selene Stakes (Can-III). She earned $426,000 in the Cotillion to more than double her bankroll to $812,414, paying $18.80, $6.20, and $4.20 to win.

Sent off at odds of 1-5, the dual grade I winner Octave, ridden by John Velazquez for trainer Todd Pletcher, returned $2.10 and $2.10 to place. Talkin About Love, Stewart Elliott aboard, brought $3 to show. The exacta returned $31, while the trifecta was worth $150.60

Second choice Moon Catcher finished a distant fourth, followed by Exchanging Fire, Syd N Carly's Rose and Silverinyourpocket. Humble Janet scratched.

 (Chart, Equibase)

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