The ‘Fitzsimmons Mile,’ named after the late coach and executive of the Phoenix Suns, was enjoying its 11th running in conjunction with the track’s 59th birthday celebration. As is custom, Cotton’s widow, JoAnn Fitzsimmons was joined by many of her husband’s friends and former Suns players in presenting the winner’s trophy.
Sent off the 9-5 favorite, Power Ped ($4.60), with Flavien Prat up, stalked the early pacesetting Storm Power before unleashing a burst of speed in deep stretch, leaving his nine rivals scrambling for second. Power Ped was two lengths clear of Red Zeus who was three-quarters of a length ahead of Az Ridge. Storm Power tired to finish fifth in the 10 horse field.
“Turning for home I was in the clear with plenty of horse under me,” said Prat, who is from Paris, France but now, rides in southern California. “So I just let him roll.”
It was the second consecutive win for the California-based trainer Neil Drysdale, a native of Surrey, England, who won the Fitzsimmons Mile in 2014 with Fire with Fire.
Owned by Stepaside Farms, the 5-year-old Power Ped covered the one mile over firm turf in 1:35.44, for his fourth win from 18 efforts and earnings of $274,132.
The Glendale Handicap
After finishing second three times and third once in four previous stakes, Rock and Glory ($7.00) finally got her victory when the hard-trying mare won the $35,000 Glendale Handicap, by three-quarters of a length over Lady Rosberg with She’s Stella Marie finishing third in the field of seven fillies and mares.
Ridden to a wire-to-wire victory by Daniel Vergara, Rock and Glory covered the 1 1/16 miles over the grass in 1:43.28 for owners Mercedes Stables and trainer Robertino Diodoro.