Angled to the middle of the track for the stretch run by jockey Gabriel Saez, heavy choice Kodiak Kowboy overpowered his rivals in the $200,000 Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap to win by four lengths at Philadelphia Park June 27.
Winner of the Carter Handicap (gr. I) this spring, Kodiak Kowboy rebounded from a seventh-place finish in the Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) on a sloppy track May 2. Larry Jones trains the 4-year-old son of Posse --Kokadrie, by Coronado's Quest, for Vinery Stables and Fox Hill Farm.
Kodiak Kowboy chased the pace in the seven-furlong main track event on the outside before launching his bid in upper stretch. The winning bay colt caught Cassoulet, who had taken the lead on the turn under Richard Migliore, approaching the furlong pole and drew off under strong handling. The final time for the 3-10 favorite was an outstanding 1:21.38 on fast going.
While no match for the winner, Cassoulet nosed Cherokee Country and Abel Mariano for second. Fractions for the half-mile were :23.11 and :45.97.
Kodiak Kowboy earned his seventh blacktype win while improving his lifetime mark to 9-3-2 in 19 starts with earnings of $1,158,363. The winning purse was $120,000.
The winner carried top weight of 124 pounds and paid $2.60, $2.20, and $2.10. Cassoulet returned $5.20 and $3.80. Cherokee Country was $5.20 to show. Crimson Comic scratched.