Coa Shows Way for Built Up in Noe Handicap

Jockey Eibar Coa gunned Built Up to the lead in the 7-furlong $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap, part of Calder's Grand Slam I program, and never looked back, defeating even-money favorite Tour of the Cat by one length.

It was the fourth win of the afternoon for Coa, who earlier won the My Charmer Handicap (gr. III) with Wander Mom in similar gate-to-wire fashion.

Trained by Enrique Alonso for owner Raymond Susi, Built Up was challenged by the even money favorite, Tour of the Cat, approaching the quarter pole. Coa strategically swung Built Up wide coming out of the turn, forcing Tour of the Cat and jockey Abad Cabassa, Jr. to alter their course to the inside. Built Up held off Tour of the Cat down the lane, while Sea Of Tranquility came from last to finish third another length back.

"I try to ride all races the same – get to the lead and keep going," said Coa. "I planned to ride this horse that way (and) keep him off the rail. The only way I could beat Tour of the Cat was to mess with the jock's mind. I kept off the rail to see if he would do something behind me. That would make him go slower and he did. It worked out good for me."

The winner, a 4-year-old Florida-bred son of Homebuilder, covered the distance in 1:23 1/5 while notching his eighth victory in 26 career starts. The $60,000 winner's share pushed his career bankroll to more than $370,000. Built Up won for the second time this year in 1 outings.

"When they scratched the two horse (Juggernaut), that left my horse the only speed in the race, so I wanted him in front, and he was getting seven pounds from Tour of the Cat," noted Alonso.

Sent off as the 9-2 third choice in the field of six, Built Up paid $11.20, $3.60 and $3. Tour of the Car returned $2.60 and $2.40. Sea of Tranquility paid $3.

(Chart, Equibase)