Colonel Sharp sizzles in Laurel allowance
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Rising Sun Racing Stables’ Colonel Sharp outran his rivals early and had plenty left to turn back a late bid from multiple graded-stakes winner Something Awesome for a front-running one-length victory in Friday’s featured third race at Laurel Park.
Ridden by J. D. Acosta for trainer Hugh McMahon, Colonel Sharp ($6) covered seven furlongs in 1:22.63 over a main track rated good in the $55,000 open allowance for 3-year-olds and up. Something Awesome was second, 2 ¾ lengths ahead of Irish Colonel, followed by multiple stakes winner Sonny Inspired, Grade 3 winner Just Call Kenny and Glory Stars.
It was the second career stakes win for Colonel Sharp, a gelded 5-year-old son of Colonel John, following the Maryland Coalition Sept. 1 at Timonium. He followed up running fourth in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Sept. 22 and a 5 ½-furlong turf allowance Oct. 26, both at Laurel.
“It was incredible. This horse has been training really well,” McMahon said. “I thought we’d have no chance against Something Awesome. He got that comfortable lead, he got a bit of a break and then he kicked again at the head of the lane. It was a really nice performance.”
Bumped by Irish Colonel at the break, Colonel Sharp straightened out and was hustled to the lead, sailing through a quarter-mile in 22.67 seconds and a half in 44.92 with only mild pressure from Sonny Inspired and Glory Stars. He extended his lead to three lengths at the head of the lane and was set down for a stretch drive by Acosta.
Something Awesome, favored at 9-5, trailed his five rivals for a half-mile but began making up ground around the turn under Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado, who tipped outside in mid-stretch but was unable to reel in the winner.
It was the first race for Stronach Stable’s homebred millionaire Something Awesome since finishing last as the favorite in the Pimlico Special (G3) May 18 at legendary Pimlico Race Course. Prior to that, the Jose Corrales trainee had won three consecutive races including the General George (G3) and Charles Town Classic (G2).
“He broke a little flat footed. He got outrun the first part. I just rode him with confidence. He’s a nice horse,” Prado said. “He came back beautiful. I thought I’d get [the winner] at the end, but he got a little even in the end. This race will set him up for the next one.”
The seven-furlong General George in February could be in the cards for Colonel Sharp, who now owns seven wins from 24 lifetime starts and is two-for-four at the distance.
“He can run with these guys. He’s showing himself to be a decent horse,” McMahon said. “I think he’ll be handy anywhere. He loved this seven furlongs.”