Close Hatches wins $1 million Cotillion Stakes
Close Hatches took the lead around the far turn and sprinted down the home stretch to win the $1 million Cotillion Stakes at Parx Racing on Saturday.
The win earned the three-year-old filly a possible start in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita in November.
Will Take Charge, the winner of Saratoga's $1 million Travers Stakes last month, won a rematch with Moreno in the co-feature, the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. Following Will Take Charge's Saratoga win, Moreno's trainer, Eric Guillot, charged jockey Luis Saez was using a battery device on his colt during the race.
Close Hatches, the winner of Belmont Park's $300,000 Mother Goose, went postward in the field of nine fillies as the 8 to 5 favorite. After covering the 1 1/16 miles in 1 minute, 44 seconds, the three-year-old filly paid $5.20 to win. Her two-length win over the previously undefeated Sweet Lulu set up a $19.20 exacta.
With Hall of Famer Mike Smith in the saddle, Close Hatches stalked the pace-setting Sweet Lulu until the field of nine hit the home stretch. At that point, Close Hatches tried to bear in. A quick swat from Smith's whip put her back on a straight course to the wire.
Will Take Charge reached the wire 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Moreno with a fast charging Battier a neck back in third. Will Take Charge, the 2 to 1 choice in the betting, paid $6.60 to win.
After the race, Guillot declined to comment on the Saratoga controversy that is still under investigation by New York State Police and the state's wagering board, saying only ''We got beat'' in the Pennsylvania Derby.