Kodiak Kowboy was a symbol of versatility his championship season as a 4-year-old. He was a grade I winner not only at sprint distances of six and seven furlongs, but also at a mile.
Kodiak Kowboy, who has been retired from racing for stallion duty at Tom Simon’s Vinery near Lexington, cemented his claim to the championship with a triumph in the Nov. 28 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct. His Cigar Mile triumph also was at the heart of Kodiak Kowboy’s being a finalist in the older male division.
“Boy, that’s huge…that’s huge winning at a mile,” Vinery president Tom Ludt told The Blood-Horse after the Cigar Mile. “Big for a stallion career…we couldn’t be happier. It was our plan all year to finish up big in the Cigar Mile, and we did it.”
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Kodiak Kowboy wasn’t your typical speedball who went right for the lead. But what he lacked in early speed, he made up for with a swift closing effort. He won the Cigar Mile in that fashion as well as the Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct, the Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, and the Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap at Philadelphia Park.
Kodiak Kowboy overtook the extra tough Fabulous Strike in the final furlong in both the Vosburgh and the Carter, and recorded respective Beyer Speed Figures of 108 and 104. In the Cigar Mile, Kodiak Kowboy registered a 106 Beyer.
Following the Oct. 3 Vosburgh, Kodiak Kowboy was scheduled to contest the Nov. 7 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I), but he failed to scope cleanly following a Nov. 2 workout and was pointed instead to the Cigar Mile.
Bred in Kentucky by Hartwell Farm, Kodiak Kowboy (Posse —Kokadrie, byCoronado's Quest) raced his championship season for Vinery and Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm. He was trained first by Larry Jones and then by Steve Asmussen.
Kodiak Kowboy’s 2010 fee is $15,000.
First-place vote totals: Kodiak Kowboy, 118; Zensational, 54; Dancing in Silks, 43; Fabulous Strike, 9; California Flag, 6; Vineyard Haven, 1.