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Ex Mountain Cop wins OTOBA Sale Stakes, eligible for $30,000 bonus


October 24, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

(photo by Portland Meadows)
Portland, OR (Oct. 23) – In the past four months, he has raced in a trio of maiden claiming events. He didn’t win any of them.

Sunday at Portland Meadows, he sought to break his maiden in a stakes event, entered to run in the Oregon Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association (OTOBA) Sales Stakes.

What’s more, the public sent him to the gate like he was Bernardini, going off at odds of 2/5.

One minute, twelve and two-fifths of a second later all were in complete agreement. He wasn’t Bernardini, but he deserved to be 2/5 because he ran like a 2/5 shot should run – fast and in front at the wire.

Owned by Charles Novak and Maynard Davis and trained by Jonathan Nance, Ex Mountain Cop broke poorly, getting bumped at the start of the 6-furlong event. Recovering quickly under the able hands of rider Juan Gutierrez, the 2-year-old son of Ex Marks the Cop out of Dubakella Mountain, rushed up to vie for the lead, running alongside Chesta Gold through early fractions of 22 3/5 and 46 2/5.

“He was bumped a little bit but once he was straightened out it all seemed so easy,” Gutierrez said. “It was the easiest kind of ride. Go to the front, keep a steady pace and when it was time to turn for home then ask him for a bit more. I did, he did and we won fairly easily.”

Ex Mountain Cop drew clear late through the straight, opening his lead by just shy of two lengths and maintained that advantage through to the wire.

Returning $2.80, $2.10 and $2.10 for the win, Ex Mountain Cop won the OTOBA Sales Stakes in 1:12 2/5.

Red E to Go, at 20-1 on the board, stalked the pace and launched an impressive bid down the lane. Although he couldn’t get to the winner, he ran well for second to return $9.00 and $4.80.

Sahmtariat, also trained by Nance, was third and returned the same prices as the winner as part of a wagering entry.

The race was for 2-year-olds who passed through the OTOBA sales ring. By winning the OTOBA Sales Stakes, Ex Mountain Cop and his connections are eligible for a $30,000 bonus should he enter, run in and win the Os West Oregon Futurity on Oregon Championship Day, December 10.

Since the inception of the bonus, no horse has yet to capture both races. Nance had a shot at it during the 2003-04 race meet when Houston Shuffle won the first of the two events but faltered when asked to go long in the 1-mile the Os West.

“I was encouraged with his [Ex Mountain Cop] performance in Seattle in his last out, when he went a mile,” Nance said when asked about the Os West. I was interested in answering a couple of questions I had about his routing abilities. I will be curious to see what will happen come December.”

“We’ve been lucky insomuch as we have been able to run him once every four or five weeks, keep him race-fit and ready. A lot can happen between now and December so I guess we’ll see what happens when the time comes. Hopefully he’ll get it.”