On a warm and sunny day in Chicago, usual turf sprinter Havelock takes home the Hanshin Cup by a neck over post time favorite Lonesome Street!
(Photo courtesy of Four Footed Fotos)
To see my recording of the post parade, CLICK HERE
Post time favorite Lonesome Street resorted to previous form from last year by battling for, then taking the lead through to the top of the stretch. Initially it appeared as though he was going to run away with this race. With fractions of 24:0 and 47:4 it didn’t seem as though the race was going to fall apart. But it did, sort of.
The victor, Havelock, was dead last through a half mile. It was at that point that winning jockey Florent Geroux loosened the reigns and asked Havelock to pick it up a little bit. He saved ground on the turn which was a very good strategy for a horse that wasn’t accustomed to running that long. Geroux stated, “I didn’t want to go five wide the whole way so I took him inside on the turn to try to save ground. I had enough horse in the turn but I didn’t want to make the lead too soon.”
(My sad attempt at the finish line photo)
He gained a lot of ground at the top of the stretch and battled Lonesome Street and second choice Scotus to finally prevail by a neck.
(Winning jockey Florent Geroux with the Hanshin Cup trophy - photo by me!)
(Havelock in the winner's circle - photo by me!)
(Havelock the winner - photo by me!)
Using my “great” handicapping skills, I tossed Havelock as a contender because I thought the mile on the Polytrack was the wrong distance and surface for him. At 8-1 almost 9-1 it seems like a lot of the other handicappers agreed as well. I also think the connections agreed to some extent as Florent Geroux commented, “The mile is about as far as he can go.” But as it goes Geroux had an amazing ride for the victory.
Still, there’s no such thing as a bad day at the races and this was no exception!
Stay tuned for exclusive Chicago Dark Horse coverage of the Arlington Matron and Arlington Classic next Saturday!