Cox's Ridge, a huge 3-year-old colt in the Forego mold as far as girth goes anyway - captured the $113,800 Governor's cup Handicap yesterday at Bowie.
The margin of victory was a neck over To The Quick with Tacitus and For The Moment earning the remaining parts of the large purse. Cox's Ridge the fifth betting choice in the field of 10 returned $14.40 straight after completing the 1 1/8 mile sin 1:51 2/5. The triump was his fifth straight, but first over major stakes company."
A crowd of 12,666 saw Cox's Ridge rally from off the pace under Jockey Eddie Maple to take the lead from For The Moment at the top of the stretch. To The Quick, a 17 to 1 shot rallied along the rall leaving the 16th pole and appeared, for a moment, to be ready to spring an upset. But Cox's Ridge fought back samely, once To The Quick came within his sight, and was more than holding his own against the runner-up through the final strides.
Jatski, the 17 to 10 favorite, wound up last. Affiliate, a 5 to 1 chance ridden by the sport's 17 year-old glamour boy, Steve Cauthen, could fare go better than eighth. Cauthen took off his mount in the sixth race, Glow Native, complaining of an upset stomach after the flight from New York, Glow Native won.
Cox's Ridge might well be a top horse in the making. The bay son of Best Turn has won six of eight starts, has not been beaten since July, and will now go home to Belmont Park to lodge a serious bid for fame and fortune in late fall.
"He stands about 17 hands. must weigh something like 1,100 pounds and is still growing." trainer Joe Cantey said in the winner's circle. "He's so big through the middle we have to use 'Forego's girths' on him to saddle him.
"By that," the trainer contined."I mean we reach up and take down the same extra-extra-large girths (43 inches) for Cox's Ridge that they have to use to the saddle Forego (the three time Horse of the Year) in New York.
"Cox's Ridge was big, green and dumb when I got him in June. He's learning. He played around a little today, once he got the lead, but not nearly as bad he has in the past."
Cox's Ridge runs in the yellow and black sllks of the Loblolly Stables.
"Loblolly is a specie of pine tree. I'm in the lumber business, back home in Fordyce, Arkansas" owner John Anthony volunteered. "Fordyce has been famous for only one thing before Cox's Ridge. It's the home town of Bear Bryant, the Alabama football coach."
Cox's Ridge may have an opportunity to put Fordyce on the map within the next month.
"He is nominated to two or three stakes in New York," Cantey said. "There's the Jamaica Handicap at Aqueduct in a couple of weeks, but I doubt I'll drop him back in distance, to a mile. The Jockey Club Gold Cup is next Saturday, at a mile and a half, and it's $300,000. That's tempting , except it's awfully soon. We've been running this horse only about once every three weeks.
First money in the Governor's was $73,970. Cox's Ridge had totaled $57,633 from his earlier appearances.
For The Moment set the pace under Jacinto Vasquez, posting early fractions of 47 4/5 and 1:12 3/5. Visible, at 66 to 1, prompted the leader through a half mile, then surrendered that position to To The Quick Prune plum also was close as, going to the far turn, the field bunched tightly behind For The Moment and ahead of Tiny Monk, which had gone into the air at the start.
Maple guided Cox's Ridge from ninth place to fourth. on the outside, swinging around the turn. Cox's Ridge put Forth The Moment Away quickly put Forth The Moment Away quickly and was two lengths in front at the eighth pole when he started to ease himself up slightly, only to concentrate again when To The Quick threatened near the wire. CAPTION: Picture, Cox's Ridge (1), with Eddie Maple, edges To The Quick, Jose Amy up, in $100,000 Governor's Cup. By Richard Darcey - The Washington Post