Let go at 13-1 odds, Absolutely Cool successfully defended his title by winning the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup in a thrilling come-from-behind performance Saturday at Turf Paradise.
Last on the stretch turn, Absolutely Cool ($28.60) was asked by jockey Rocco Bowen to let lose against the competitors in front of him and the 8-year-old responded, gobbling up ground and rivals with every stride while posting a half-length victory over Valiant Flame with Omar third in the field of eight older horses.
Trained by Valorie Lund for owner-breeder Karl Krieg, Absolutely Cool covered the 6-furlongs in 1:08.75 in winning the Gold Cup for the second consecutive year.
“He’s been in the Gold Cup the last four years,” said Lund. “He’s finished twice and now won it twice.”
Earlier in the program, Lund won the $35,000 Sun City Handicap with Lady Rosberg ($6.00).
Absolutely Cool, a Washington bred, has now won eight of 32 efforts for earnings of $269,698.
Lady Rosberg ($6.00) got her second stakes win of the meet (Queen of the Green) by bursting forth from a pack of horses at the head of the lane and going on to win the $35,000 Sun City Handicap by one length over Hollywood Hottie with Ricspretentiousgal third in the field of eight fillies and mares.
Ridden by Gallyn Mitchell for trainer Valorie Lund and owner-breeder Karl Krieg, the Washington bred Lady Rosberg covered the one mile over firm turf in 1:36.07 for her fifth win in 12 starts and earnings of over $85,000.
Turf Paradise Handicap
Under a patient ride by Geovanni Franco, favored Az Ridge ($7.00) won the $35,000 Turf Paradise Handicap by 2 ¼ lengths over Fast Track with Red Zeus third in the field of nine older horses.
Owned by Sawyer Cattle Company and trained by Dan McFarlane, the Kentucky bred Az Ridge covered the 1 1/16 miles over the turf in 1:41.0 for his 11th win in 36 outings for earnings of over $337,000.