This afternoon, Copingaway finished much closer to the winner than a week ago and served notice that he and his trainer Jaime Mejia could be headed toward a first 2016 win.
Last Saturday, Copingaway was sent off at 180-1 in the $1 million Florida Derby (Grade 1). He finished sixth in the ten-horse field, 17 lengths behind winner Nyquist.
Copingaway returned to Gulfstream Park this afternoon and finished second in a $75,000 optional claimer at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf, with a $43,000 purse.
He briefly led in the stretch but was caught by
Noble Quality and lost by a half length. Duffle Bag, the 8-5 favorite, finished third by another length in the eight-horse field.
Noble Quality was 2-1 and Copingaway, at a realistic level, was 9-2. Of the first three finishers, only Duffle Bag was in for a tag, and he was not claimed.
Christophe Clement trains Noble Quality who was ridden by Edgard Zayas and won in the fast time of 1:27.89. It was Noble Quality's second win in two career starts.
Copingaway, a Brother Derek colt, also ran a fast time but is now winless in seven starts this year. Mejia is zero for 57 this year, mostly at Gulfstream.
You can't help but hope that they will soon find the winner's circle.