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Corleone Kosmos in 1:54.4

April 17, 2007

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World record holder Corleone Kosmos, the third-place finisher in last year’s $800,000 Breeders’ Crown Open Trot, showed no signs of rust when shaking off a seven-month layoff to win the featured $10,000 Isle Mile I Trot at Pompano Park on Monday in 1:54.4.

Driven from post five by trainer Tom Haughton, Corleone Kosmos settled in fourth place through the early stages of Monday’s trot, as Victor’s Pursuit (Mickey McNichol) inherited the lead from an off-stride Battleshoe Victor (Bruce Ranger), taking the field through an opening quarter mile in :29.1.

As the trotters moved by the grandstand for the first time, Railee Possible (David Ingraham) was moved from the pocket to wrestle the lead away from Victor’s Pursuit, but the Florida-bred gelding’s time at the front would be short-lived as Haughton angled Corleone Kosmos off the pylons, and with one quick rush took control of the race.

Corleone Kosmos showed the way through a half-mile in :58.2 before picking things up with a :28.2 third panel to reach the three-quarters marker in 1:26.4. The 5-year-old son of S J’s Photo trotted clear of his rivals on the final turn, entering the stretch with a 4 ½-length advantage, before coasting down the lane to prevail by 4 ¼ lengths after a final quarter mile clocked in :28.

“He was simply fantastic tonight,” Haughton said after the race.

Corleone Kosmos returned $2.80, $4.00, $4.60 for the victory. Railee Possible brought in $4.20, $4.40 for second, while Victor’s Pursuit paid $9.00 for third.

“He’s shipping out on Saturday to go to the Meadowlands,” Haughton said. “The Cutler Memorial (eliminations May 11) is the short term goal.

“We had a John Campbell bobble head doll in the winner’s circle tonight,” Haughton joked. “I put it in the sulky for the photo and told the owners ‘See, John drove him tonight’, since he’ll take over the driving up there.”

Owned by Arthur Rudolph, Rudolph Stables, Inc., and Bernard Owen, Corleone Kosmos earned $217,293 last year with six wins from 12 starts, including a world record performance at the Meadowlands on July 22 where he trotted the mile in 1:51.3.

Corleone Kosmos closed out 2006 with a fifth-place performance in a $49,500 Maple Leaf Trot elimination on September 2 and qualified twice over the Pompano oval this year in preparation for Monday’s seasonal debut. (Pompano Park press release)

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