Cobra King, ill when he finished fourth in the Del Mar Futurity last month, bounced back with a 1 3/4-length victory over King Of The Heap and three other 2-year-olds in the $75,000 Sunny Slope Stakes on Wednesday at Santa Anita.
Considered a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile possibility before his fourth-place finish at 7-10 odds at Del Mar, the Farma Way colt overcame some trouble Wednesday to win for the third time in five starts.
Under new rider Chris McCarron, owner Betty Biszantz’s homebred had nowhere to go along the inside in the stretch, but angled out and won going away in 1:09 for the six furlongs. He paid $3.60 as the 4-5 choice.
“It’s tough to regroup with a horse and make sure you make the right moves,” trainer Mike Puype said. “There was a lot of pressure with the last race. We’re doing everything right, not anything too much or too little. It feels awfully good to see him run that well today.”
Although Russell Baze had ridden Cobra King in his four other races, McCarron was familiar with the colt. He had worked him three times.
King Of The Heap, the longest shot in the field at nearly 11-1, got the lead in the stretch, but couldn’t match the winner.