Cojet Buzzes Mountain General in Col. Power

(from track report)
Sunday's $75,000 Colonel Power Handicap at Fair Grounds was not in Cojet's plans following his second-place finish three weeks ago in the F.W. Gaudin Memorial Handicap.

But with a short field scheduled and a sharp horse on his hands, trainer Bob Holthus decided to send the 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song from his home base at Oaklawn Park.

That move paid dividends as Cojet turned the tables on his sprint stakes rivals, holding off Mountain General by three-quarters of a length to win the third of Fair Grounds' five-race sprint series.

"He has come a long way since being on the front end all the time," said assistant trainer Kristen Crawford. "It took a lot of hard work from Mr. (Bob) Holthus and the team in the barn to get him to settle down and he has done a great job since then."

Ridden by Shane Sellers, Cojet returned $14.60, $5.80, and $3.60 after running six furlongs in 1:09.66.

"The hot pace allowed me to get him back and settle him," said Sellers, who picked up his sixth stakes victory of the meet. "I found running room in the turn, put him there and at the point down the lane it was horse for horse. And he was the best horse today."

Cojet will return to Oaklawn Park for his next start. Owned by Dan Jones, Cojet pushed his earnings tab to $242,196 with his sixth win from 17 starts.

Mountain General, who set a track record in the Thanksgiving Handicap, closed for second, three lengths clear of Gaudin winner Kazoo.

Bonapaw, the 9-10 favorite, finished last in the six-horse field after battling Gracie's Dancer through fractions of :21.55 for the quarter-mile and :44.81 for the half-mile.

"At the quarter-pole I thought he was really tired," jockey Gerard Melancon said of Bonapaw. "(Gracie's Dancer) pushed us real hard, so I put him in hand because I felt like there was no check to get and save him for next time."

(Chart, Equibase)