Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen continued his recent stranglehold on the $1 million Cotillion S. (G1) at Parx on Saturday when Society cruised to a 5 3/4-length win under Florent Geroux.
Making every pole a winning one, Society cut out fractions of :23.33, :46.75, and 1:10.93 before finishing up 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:42.94. It was Asmussen’s third win in the Cotillion in the last four years, and his fifth overall, which is a stakes record.
“I knew if I kept her relaxed (I would win),” Geroux said. “I was content just to keep her off if the pace if it was honest enough, but honestly after three jumps I was already in the lead. I was clear.
“Everything went very nicely. I just tried to relax as much as I could. She was very nice for me down the backside. I felt like I was going nicely, but I wasn’t going crazy. She’s extremely quick. those horses have a ton of speed so the worst thing you can do is try to and get them off rhythm. You want to try and stay the same tempo and keep them relaxed.”
Owned and bred by Peter Blum, Society returned $17.60. Morning Matcha, the second longest shot in the field of nine three-year-old fillies at nearly 49-1, surprisingly rallied for second by two lengths over Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Secret Oath.
Green Up, who started as the 9-5 favorite, finished fourth and was followed by Shahama, Adare Manor, Goddess of Fire, Gerrymander, and Beach Daze.
The Cotillion was the fifth win in six career starts for Society, whose only setback to date was a distant fourth-place effort to division leader Nest in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga in July. A winner on debut at Keeneland last October, Society reappeared in May, winning an allowance at Churchill Downs, followed by a half-length decision in the Monomoy Girl S. over the same track.
Society rebounded from her disappointment in the Coaching Club by taking the Aug. 26 Charles Town Oaks (G3), a two-turn seven-furlong test, by 6 3/4 lengths. She’s now earned $1,109,775.
The Kentucky-bred Society is the sixth Grade 1 winner hailing from the tremendous first crop of 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner. She was produced by Etiquette, a Tapit half-sister to Ohio Derby (G3) winner Pleasant Prince.