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Mojo Race Recap: Cool Hand Butte's 2nd Race

July 11, 2014 

Cool Hand Butte

Mojo's promising two-year-old, Cool Hand Butte, made his second start in a 7.5 furlong Maiden Special route race over the turf on Friday, July 11.

Entered in Race 1 at Lone Star Park, Cool Hand Butte (by Sky Mesa out of Sheza Nasty Lady) lined up against eleven other runners—three of which he had previously raced against in his first start.

“Unlike the last race (5 furlong sprint), the conditions in this race were better suited for the horse’s pedigree,” said Fred Taylor, Mojo’s CEM.  “His dam was a stakes winner on the turf at over a mile, and his full brother was stakes placed at the same distance.  That said, this was Butte’s first time on the grass at a longer distance, so there were the obvious unknown questions about how he was going to react to this new scenario.”

From the start, all runners were away cleanly, and Butte easily moved over from Post 9 and settled in nicely behind a pack of five.  Into the Clubhouse Turn, the opening fractions were respectable (:23.1 for a ¼ mile) and CHB was comfortably tracking the pace.  Down the backstretch, Jockey Dakota Wood had Butte going well and sitting chilly.  At the ½ mile pole, the fractions (:47) were steady, and Butte begins to pick up the pace passing two horses as they headed into the far turn.  Around the bend (6F in 1:01), CHB makes a move toward the top of the stretch and becomes a factor of four horses at the front in the center of the track.  (7F in 1:23)  Rather than going on, however, Butte began to lollygag, and two horses on the lead that were keen to run pulled away.  Using a little encouragement, Wood called on Butte to focus on the business at hand and get back into the race.  With a 16th to go, CHB switched gears and drove on to get up for 3rd (1:30 for 7.5F).     

“We got what we wanted: A better start this time out, a good trip all the way around, and a solid effort down the stretch,” Fred explains.  “The horse was running on cruise control out there today—pure, natural, untapped ability.  He has a lot left in the tank, and that gives us good reason to be hopeful for Butte’s future.”

After the race, Jockey Dakota Wood said: “For most of the race, the horse was looking around, watching the birds, and not paying attention to what he’s doing.  Coming into the stretch, we needed to get moving, and when I lifted the stick, his ears went back like he was asking me what I was going to do.  So, I wasn’t sure how he was going to react; but I gave him couple of taps and he responded positively.”

“The horse is still green; but it was a nice finish,” reports Mojo Trainer, JR Caldwell.  “I like what I saw and I’m going to let the horse come into his natural talent.  He’s on the right track, and the way he’s developing, he gives us a lot to look forward to this fall.”

Before, during, and after the race, Cool Hand Butte never lifted a hair or worked up a sweat (and, it was 95 degrees at post time).  “He jogged back with his head up and wasn’t breathing hard,” Fred says.  “I like this big dude—every day he keeps getting bigger, stronger, and faster.  He really doesn’t know how good he is.  He’s feisty in the barn and needs to focus when he’s on the track; but once he figures it out, he’s going to be a handful to deal with in future races.”

What’s next for Cool Hand Butte and Mojo?  “Well, JR and his Team will be moving the operation and all of the Mojo Runners to Remington Park,” Fred explains.  “And, once they’re all settled in up there, the plan is to prepare Butte for another turf race at the end of August.

Stay tuned for more exciting Mojo news to come!

Mojo Background

Mojo Thoroughbred Holdings, LLC (which conducts its horse racing operations as Mojo Racing Partners) is based in Fort Worth, TX and was formed in 2006.  Since then, Mojo has raced at Arlington Park, Churchill Downs, Indiana Downs, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Lone Star Park, Oaklawn Park, Remington Park, and Turfway Park.  Mojo’s on a mission to give people affordable and fun opportunities to participate in the exciting sport of Thoroughbred racing. 

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