Kool Odds got a clean start, ran well and held off 3-to-2 favorite Recking Ball by a half length to exact some revenge for a trial loss and win the Pot O’ Gold Futurity race Sunday, the main event of horse racing season at Sun Downs in Kennewick.
Recking Ball — the No. 3 horse — beat No. 4 Kool Odds by a nose, .003 seconds, in their futurity trial race April 23. Co-Owner and trainer Mark Hanson said the professionalism with which he handles his horses showed in the first two races for Kool Odds, who Hanson called his stable’s fastest-rising two-year-old.
“It’s pretty rewarding when you can break one and it keep it sound, keep it doing things correctly,” Hanson said. “The first time out, we just get out-run, Recking Ball was a little bit better of a horse that day. But this horse came back healthy, and we knew if we had a clean race we’d have a good chance.
“It’s just professionalism. If you can teach them to do the right things early, typically the rest of their career they’ll progressively get a little better each time.”
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It’s Hanson’s second racing trip to the Tri-Cities, and this one was only slightly more satisfying than the first. He trained Ima Ramblin Eagle, who placed in last year’s Pot O’ Gold Futurity.
“It’s a great place to come,” Hanson said. “Good track, good purse money and great people here.”
And what’s not to like about the $11,025 payday for winning the Tri-Cities’ richest race?
Pleased with the colt’s first two outings, Hanson said Kool Odds would get a five-week break before heading to the Bitterroot Futurity Trials June 10 at Sandy Downs near Idaho Falls.
Kool Odds wound up paying $12.80 on a $2 win bet. Recking Ball finished a length ahead of third-place Sweet Dream Demon, who entered with the third-best time in trials.
AQHA DISTAFF CHALLENGE: While the bettors threw their money the way of top qualifier Klassic Secret Br, which went off near even money, Ablurrforsure — as well as owner/breeder Tom Williams — was just fine with flying under the radar in the season finale at Sun Downs.
The four-year-old Montana-bred filly went off at 32-to-1 and looked in trouble when she broke in fifth. But Williams said Ablurrforsure has never been short on speed — she ran a speed figure of 106 (15.395 seconds) in a 300-yard race at Great Falls in July — and she proved it by rallying back to lead, then hold off the 10 horse, Gone Fast, to get the win and $11,509 first prize.
Ablurrforsure had the No. 8 qualifying time with Holly Gervais aboard. Williams said that poor showing was unexpected and made a jockey change, to Jose Figueroa, which turned out to make all the difference.
“This wasn’t an upset, I’ve seen this horse before,” said Williams, who was making his return to Sun Downs after a 15-20 year hiatus. “That’s a good mare.”
She put smiles on the faces of folks holding winning tickets for the No. 6 horse, who picked up $65.20 on a $2 bet. Klassic Secret Br showed behind Gone Fast, a 17-to-1 long shot.
The Distaff Challenge Championship, which boasts a guaranteed $105,000 purse, will be held October 14 at Prairie Meadows in Iowa. Winners of the Sun Downs leg of the challenge typically haven’t competed in the finals, but Williams, a 50-year horse racing veteran, said he was planning on taking Ablurrforsure.