Cozzetti made the best of an inside trip along the rail as he got up to nip pacesetter All Stormy by a neck in a four-horse blanket finish in the $200,000 American Derby (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park for 3-year-olds. It was a head back to third-place finisher Skyring, who finished a half-length in front of 8-5 favorite Daddy Nose Best (VIDEO).
The task was made easier for the eight that started in the 1 3/16-mile race after the two morning line favorites, Silver Max at 8-5, and Sachem Spirit at 9-2, were scratched. Silver Max was Daily Racing Form’s best bet of the day.
Cozzetti, with just a maiden win to show from nine prior starts, earned his first stakes win,
All Stormy got away from the gate alertly and led through fractions of :24.74, :50.56, 1:15.74, and 1:40.18, while Cozzetti remained tucked in third position along the fence. The eventual winner was stopped once inside the eighth pole but finally secured room to get through for the victory in the final strides. The final time was 1:57.42 over a turf course rated good.
“He was a game horse,” said winning jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. “We intended to go around at the eighth pole. The horse on the rail drifted a little bit, so I went back down on the inside. It was a little tight but he was game and he pulled through.”
Robby Albarado, who rode All Stormy, was pleased with his mount’s performance, “The horse ran awesome but we have to congratulate the winner. That horse ran a huge race. We had no excuses.”
Cozzetti, by Cozzene, and Daddy Nose Best had been tested earlier at the race's distance in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). Cozzetti finished seventh and Daddy Nose Best ninth.
Cozzetti, who entered the American Derby off a runner-up effort in the Oliver Stakes on grass at Indiana Downs behind Silver Max, improved his record to 2-1-1 from 10 starts and earnings of $279,749. His American Derby win was worth $116,400 and upped his turf earnings to $167,149
Bred in Kentucky by Soc. Agr. Santa Elena De Chimbarongo, Cozzetti is out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Lemon Drop Cello.
Cozzetti paid $10, $5, and $3.20. All Stormy returned $5.60 and $3.80, and Skyring rewarded his backers with $4. The 2-1 exacta paid $43.40.