Bet on the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile
Named for the popular Phoenix Suns basketball coach who died in 2004, The Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile is run in January at eight furlongs on the turf for older horses. Fitzsimmons, who served three different terms as the Suns head coach in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, was an avid handicapper, and made regular appearances at Turf Paradise. The race has been run consecutively since its inception 2005 and is currently run for a purse of $75,000. The Cotton Fitzsimmons regularly attracts talented shippers from California as well as top locally-based horses.
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Playing the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Odds
As the heavy post-time favorite at 3-2 Power Ped didn’t disappoint his backers in the 2015 Cotton Fitzsimmons. What thrilled horseplayers holding exotic tickets was the performance of second place Red Zeus at 32-1, and 7-1 Az Ridge, who helped provide for payouts of more than $124 and $675 on $2 exacta and trifecta tickets.
2016 Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile Handicap Contenders
The 2015 Cotton Fitzsimmons attracted a field ten, led by the classy California shipper Power Ped, trained by Neil Drysdale. The betting public sent Power Ped to post at the short odds of 8/5, which proved to be a bargain as the five year-old confidently tracked the early leaders before drawing away powerfully under jockey Flavien Pratt in the stretch while sparing his backers any anxious moments. Red Zeuss spiced the exacta by running on for second, but could get no closer than two lengths of the winner. Power Ped had run second in the Grade 3 San Gabriel Stakes two week prior at Santa Anita, and went on the finish and went on the finish second in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes less than a month after his win in the Cotton Fitzsimmons.
2015 Order of Finish: Win Place Show
1st: Power Ped $4.60 $3.60 $2.60
2nd: Red Zeus $23.80 $10.40
3rd: Az Ridge $4.20
(Also Ran: Fast Track, Storm Power, Smack Ridge, Trend, Number Five, Midnight Officer, Twelve Tribes)
For 2016 contenders, check back closer to race day!
Did you know?
JoAnn Fitzsimmons, widow of the race’s namesake, along with former Phoenix Suns players coached by her late husband, annually take part in the winner’s circle ceremonies and trophy presentation following the race. With 832 career wins, Cotton Fitzsimmons currently has the tenth most wins of all-time among NBA head coaches. Neil Drysdale, trainer of 2015 Cotton Fitzsimmons winner Power Ped, also trained 1992 Belmont winner A.P. Indy and 2000 Kentucky Derby hero Fusaichi Pegasus. A.P. Indy, like his father Seattle Slew, was one of the great racehorses and sires of his generation. Along with the Turf Paradise Derby and Phoenix Gold Cup, the Cotton Fitzsimmons is among the three marquee races of the Turf Paradise meeting.