Real Cool Sam looks to go 9-for-9 in ISS
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Jim Campbell, who trains the gelding, expects it will not be an easy task. Real Cool Sam faces a field that includes Gangster Hanover, who won a Bluegrass division by 9 1/4 lengths in 1:52.3 for trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Gangster Hanover trotted his final quarter-mile in :26.2, which was the fastest final quarter in the day’s nine races.
Real Cool Sam is the 7-5 morning-line favorite. Gangster Hanover is 5-2.
“We trained him a little bit (Monday) and he seemed good,” Campbell said about Real Cool Sam. “He’s had a good week. But the competition is getting tougher, I know that. The way they went last week, there were some really nice colts that stepped up their game quite a bit. It’s a tough race. There are some good colts in there and he’s going to need his ‘A’ game.”
Real Cool Sam, bred and owned by Fashion Farms, is by Muscle Hill out of Cooler Schooner. His wins include the Peter Haughton Memorial, in a then-world-record-equaling 1:53.1 at the Meadowlands, and the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes championship in a world-record 1:53.4 at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
In the PASS final, which was his most recent start on Sept. 8, Real Cool Sam and driver David Miller used a three-wide move on the last turn to rally from fourth and defeat Amigo Volo by two lengths.
“I didn’t expect him to win that when they were heading up the backside,” Campbell said. “That track, it’s very hard to make up that much ground the way he did it. He did surprise me.”
Real Cool Sam, named in memory of track announcer Sam McKee, will head to the Breeders Crown following the International Stallion Stakes. The Breeders Crown eliminations for 2 year olds are Oct. 18 and the finals are Oct. 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
“We had planned a month ago that we were going to race just the one time here,” Campbell said. “That was all by design. I just wanted to go the one race here to set him up for the Breeders Crown.
“Everything has gone great with him so far,” he added. “He trained down good and did everything right, but you still don’t know until you race them how they’re going to be. He’s done everything and more than what we could ask of him.”
Rome Pays Off, who was second in the Peter Haughton and third in the Bluegrass division won by Amigo Volo, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the first International Stallion division. Amigo Volo, who trotted a gelding world-record 1:52.3 to win his Bluegrass division last week, and colt EL Ideal, who won in 1:52.2, lead the way in the second division. Amigo Volo is 8-5 and EL Ideal is 3-1. (Ken Weingartner/USTA)