Trainer Dale Romans has accounted for two-thirds of the 2012 Mid-America Triple after sending Albaugh Family Stable's Cozzetti to win the Grade III $200,000 American Derby by a neck in a thrilling finish over Jim Tafel's All Stormy. Shaun Bridgmohan rode the son of Cozzene who covered a mile and three-sixteenths over “good” turf in 1:57.42.
All Stormy got away from the gate alertly and led through fractions of 24.74 seconds, 50.56 seconds, 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.
“He was a game horse,” Bridgmohan said. “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.”
Skyring, who was also forwardly placed, finished third in the nine-horse field. “I wanted to stay close to the pace,” said his rider, Joel Rosario. I didn't want the leader to get away from us. My horse ran hard.”
The American Derby was the second victory and first in stakes company for Cozzetti, who finished second to stablemate Silver Max in the $200,000 Oliver Stakes last month at Indiana Downs. He picked up $116,400 to boost his bankroll to $279,749.
Romans, who also won the series' first leg – the $125,000 Arlington Classic – with Mark Bacon & Dana Wells' Silver Max had entered that horse in the American Derby but elected not to ship the colt up from Kentucky.
Cozzetti paid $10, $5 and $3.20. All Stormy returned $5.60 and $3.80. Skyring paid $4.
Daddy Nose Best, Quick Wit, The Pizza Man, Southern Parkway and Macho Bull completed the order of finish.
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