Greetings Race Fans,
It was a dreary rainy afternoon on October 12th in Chicago, and six furlongs of wet, sloppy racetrack were all that stood in the way of a $20,700 payday.
The two favorites #1 Dundalk Bay and #4 Showersofblessings broke swiftly and took the early lead. #3 Cocoa Bandita quickly joined the dance and was second by a head after a hasty 22:23 opening quarter. Cocoa split foes and began to assert herself, taking the lead by a length and a half margin, after a half mile in a very smart 46:07. Jockey Edgar Perez kept our filly in a forward position and as the field rounded the final bend for home, any one of five had a shot at glory. The two favorites, and long-shot Cocoa, were met with challenges by #5 Meadow Mystique and the late running #2 Kipper Doodle. With mud flying and nostrils flared it was an all-out sprint down the long finishing straight to the tape. Looking for an opening in upper stretch Meadow Mystique split foes then shifted inside bumping Cocoa who was squeezed and sandwiched between her opponent and the rail. Meadow Mystique wrestled the rail spot away from Cocoa who was knocked off stride and then lost momentum. Dundalk Bay gave way, Showersofblessings tried to maintain her lead when Kipper Doodle made an enthusiastic charge from the outside to surprise everyone. When the mud was cleared off the lens, the photo revealed Kipper Doodle (1st), Meadow Mystique (2nd), Showersofblessings (3rd) and Cocoa Bandita (4th).
We had hoped for a revision after Cocoa was scraped near the rail, but the steward’s inquiry light never came on. Many factors come into play in a horse race. The sloppy surface did not appear to be a factor as Cocoa was in control for most of the race, her fitness level was never an issue and the trip Perez gave CB was impressive for five furlongs. It was disappointing, however, to see our tough-minded filly retreat and witness Perez stop riding after the contact. It takes both horse and rider to be successful and although she may not have won, Bandita certainly would have been in the mix for the top three had she continued to be encouraged.
The good news is that our white-faced filly came out of WrestleMania in fine physical shape and her bruised ego will heal along with ours. Connections look forward to Cocoa’s next thoroughbred race and hope to stay clear of the WWF!