Classy Coco Takes Maryland Million Lassie

Classy Coco Takes Maryland Million Lassie


LAUREL, MD. 10-06-12---Michael R. Cox’s Classy Coco slipped up the rail to notch her first lifetime victory in the opening race on Jim McKay Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park.

After finishing game seconds in her previous two starts, the Bernie Houghton trained daughter of Not For Love carried Mathew Rispoli to victory in the six furlong, $100,000 Lassie for 2-year-old fillies. She completed the distance in 1:13.34, beating runner-up Stormy Adventure by 1-1/2 lengths. Steely was third, while odds on favorite Mystic Love failed to muster a run and finished fifth.

“Kind of played it by ear at the break because she has speed,” said Rispoli. “I got the pace in front of me and was kind of surprised the rail opened up. When it did, I said ‘go’ and she did.”

Rispoli, the leading rider at Penn National, began his riding career at Laurel Park in 2009.

“It’s big to win here in Maryland. It kind of makes me want to cry,” added Rispoli.

Classy Coco paid $11.60 and topped a $244 exacta and $745.40 trifecta.

“Going into her last race, I told Matt we’re probably one work short,” said Houghton, a former Maryland Jockey Club racing office official. “She ran so game that day to just get beat. I discussed it with Matt and he said we should take a shot in the Maryland Million. I was a little concerned because she’s never gone further than 5-1/2 furlongs but she worked really well in her final breeze for this race and I thought she would run a really good race today as long as she got a decent trip. Everything turned out perfect. It’s fun to come back home and win one.”

About Laurel Park

Laurel Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.