Fear the Cowboy received the right set-up and mowed down his rivals in the latter stages of Saturday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Park, notching his fifth career stakes victory with a 2 1/4-length decision. Javier Castellano was up for trainer Efren Loza Jr. and the 5-year-old horse is campaigned by Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti.
He’s certainly well-traveled, racing over 10 different ovals in his last 11 starts, and there’s no doubting Fear the Cowboy’s affinity for Gulfstream. The son of Cowboy Cal recorded his third consecutive stakes victory locally, easily taking the Skip Away (G3) last March and the 2015 Three Chopt Road at the South Florida venue.
Richard the Great, Mr. Jordan and Conquest Big E all showed speed from the gate, with Conquest Big E accelerating to a short advantage as the field rounded the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile event. The pacesetter reeled off opening splits in :23.37 and :46.20 while under serious pressure from Mr. Jordan, who advanced to take over nearing the completion of the far turn.
Fear the Cowboy rated about 10 lengths off the early pace and began to make headway on the leaders on the final bend. Mr. Jordan led by about a length with a sixteenth of a mile remaining, but he was no match late for the oncoming Fear the Cowboy, who closed boldly down the middle of the track to win convincingly.
The winner stopped the teletimer in 1:42.23.
Mr. Jordan saved second by a neck over Richard the Great, with 7-5 favorite Destin another length back in fourth. Frammento, Conquest Big E, Flatlined, Page McKenney and Joshua’s Comprise came next under the wire.
Bred by the University of Kentucky, Fear the Cowboy was purchased for $1,500 as a yearling at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February sale. He’s the only stakes winner out of the unraced Soto mare Whom Shall I Fear.
Fear the Cowboy garnered his first stakes tally in the aforementioned Three Chopt Road and won the Evangeline Mile in 2016. The bay rallied to win the West Virginia Governor’s S. at Mountaineer on August 5 and was fourth in the Lukas Classic (G3) at Churchill Downs two starts previously. He was exiting a respectable effort against Discreet Lover in the November 22 Swatara at Penn National, registering a career-best 105 BRIS Speed rating for the third-place finish.
With Saturday’s $59,520 payday, Fear the Cowboy has now earned $570,869 from a 27-9-7-2 scorecard.