CATTAIL COVE EARNS ELUSIVE STAKES WIN, TAKES INDEPENDENCE DAY HANDICAP
After 29 races, 17 stakes appearances and over $550,000 in career earnings, Link Newcomb’s Cattail Cove is finally a stakes winner thanks to professional effort to win the Grade 3, $25,000 Independence Day Handicap on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
The gelding by Favorite Cartel has been an ever-present figure at the top level at Los Alamitos with some of his racing highlights being runner-up efforts in both the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and Governor’s Cup Futurity in 2019, a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Go Man Go Handicap in 2021, and a second place finish the Grade 3 Kaweah Bar Handicap in 2022. He has finished in the top three in 10 stakes races during his career. He also finished fourth in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby in 2020.
After so many good results and close attempts to reach the winner’s circle, Cattail Cove made the trip to the winner’s circle thanks to ¾ length victory in the Independence Day with a time of :15.433 at 300 yards. Ridden by Ramon Sanchez, this track’s all-time leader in stakes wins, and trained by Juan Aleman, Cattail Cove earned $13,750 for the win. Purchased for $62,000 at the Ruidoso Sale in 2018, the Steve Burns-bred Cattail Cove has now earned $555,182 in his career.
“It was great,” Newcomb said of the win. “He certainly deserves it. It took 29 tries. He’s been in lots of stakes races and been right there. He ran a great race, was drawn well and Ramon did a great job. Thanks to him and Juan for getting the job ready.”
For Newcomb, the wait for another stakes win dated back far longer than just Cattail Cove.
“The last stakes win I had was in the Two Million in 2002 (with First Place Queen), so it’s been almost 20 years ago. I’ve had lots of seconds and thirds but I hadn’t had a stakes win for 20 years.”
Cattail Cove’s elusive stakes win ranks high up there for the owner but running second in the Two Million is still Newcomb’s favorite race posted by the gelding out of the top mare Katie Katella.
“The (second in the) Two Million comes with $300,000 plus so it’s a little hard to outrank that, but it’s right there. This is a stakes win - a graded stakes win - and I’m proud about that. He deserves it so much. I always wanted him to be listed first under his mother’s name and now he will be listed first under his mother’s name. He needed the stakes win for that.”
Owned by Felix A. Gonzalez and trained by Lindolfo Diaz, C Special Jess earned $5,625 for running second. Jesus Rios Ayala was aboard the Apollitical Jess gelding. Erik Flores’ Milan Red earned $3,125 for running third. Ruben Lozano piloted the horse by Corona Cartel for trainer Valentin Zamudio. Jess Beautiful Fire and Seattle Cartel completed the field.