May 26, 2024

Coal Front much the best in Mr. Prospector

Coal Front burned his foes in the Mr. Prospector (c) Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography

Making his second start of 2018, Coal Front disposed of his rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) like a sprinter with a bright future. The four-year-old rigdling surged to the lead in upper stretch and drew off to a 3 ¾-length decision, completing seven furlongs in 1:23.16 with John Velazquez.

Todd Pletcher trains for Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners LLC.

Now a winner in five of seven starts, Coal Front left the starting gate as the 8-5 favorite from post 11 and made amends for a fifth as the favorite in the November 2 Bold Ruler (G3) at Aqueduct, his first start in more than 13 months. The dark bay son of Stay Thirsty captured Amsterdam (G2) at Saratoga and Gallant Bob (G3) at Parx at age three and his only setback last year came in the Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1).

“We were happy we drew the post that we did. Last time at Aqueduct he drew the one hole going a demanding distance in his first start off a layoff,” Pletcher said. “He got in a speed duel that day and the track was very deep and tiring. It’s hard to win in those scenarios off that long of a layoff.

“We’ve targeted this race since then and he’s trained as well we’d hoped he would have – actually, as well or better than ever – and got the trip we were wanting today. To be honest, I’d be really disappointed had he not performed well today based on the way he’s been training.”

Bred in Kentucky by Michael Edward Connelly, the dark bay has now earned $477,250.

Coal Front showed speed at the break and closely stalked pacesetter Kroy through opening splits in :22.48 and :45.31. He was forced wide off the far turn but quickly seized command when asked by Velazquez, quickly drawing clear and rolling home.

“It ended up being perfect out there with so much speed in the race,” Velazquez said. “I let him do his own thing out there, relax well outside horses and when I asked him he was there for me.”

Storm Advisory closed from off the pace for second at 16-1, 1 ½ lengths better than the 6-1 Heartwood. It was another 1 ¼ lengths to 3-1 second choice Uno Mas Modelo in fourth.

Out of the unraced Mineshaft mare Miner’s Secret, Coal Front is a half-brother to Canadian stakes winner and American Grade 2 runner-up Conquest Titan. This is the immediate family of Grade 2 scorer Azar and multiple Grade 3 winner Woodlander. Coal Front was purchased for $575,000 at the 2016 OBS April two-year-old sale.

Pletcher suggested Coal Front will stretch out in distance for an upcoming start:

“The things he’s been showing us training and the way he ran today and galloped out, I think he’s wanting to stretch out. We’ve got to see if that’s a mile or two turns. We’ve got all kinds of options.”