Hanshin Cup defending champion Hogy will have his work cut out for him
in his repeat bid in the Grade III $150,000 race when he faces 13
challengers including no fewer than six other graded stakes winners.
one-mile Hanshin Cup is part of a stakes tripleheader on Saturday that
also features the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron for fillies and
mares and the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Classic – the first leg of
the Mid-America Triple – for sophomore turf runners.
winning last year’s Hanshin Cup, the William Stiritz-owned Hogy has won
three more times including a victory in the $250,000 Presque Isle Mile,
which is also raced over a synthetic surface. Last out, the Scott
Becker-trained son of Offlee Wild won a six-furlong allowance race in
impressive fashion over multiple stakes winner Saint Leon. Chris Emigh,
Hogy’s regular jockey for local engagements, has the call Saturday.
those slated to face the defending champion are graded stakes winners
Wade Wacker’s Joha; Silverton Hill’s Havelock; Lothenbach Stables’
Mister Marti Gras; Richard Sherman’s Nikki’s Sandcastle; Robert
Trussell’s Occasional View; and Swifty Farms’ Pataky Kid.
View, a 6-year-old Silver Deputy gelding is a synthetic track
specialist having won the Grade III Commonwealth at Keeneland in April
and finished second in the Grade III Vigil at Woodbine earlier this
month, both over seven furlongs. The Ken McPeek trainee is stakes
placed over a distance of ground, so the one-mile Hanshin shouldn’t be
out of his reach. C. H. Marquez Jr. picks up the mount.
Nikki’s Sandcastle is also a graded
stakes winner over Polytrack after taking last fall’s Grade II Fayette
Stakes at Keeneland. Though winless in four starts this year, the Dave
Kassen-trained son of Castledale has been facing tough competition and
most recently finished third to Frac Daddy in the Grade III Ben Ali at
Keeneland. Leandro Goncalves has the mount.
Chris Block-trained Mister Marti Gras and the Tom Proctor trainee
Pataky Kid are both graded stakes winners over this track. The former,
by Belong to Me, won the 2012 Washington Park Handicap over the
Arlington Polytrack but is winless since capturing the $125,000 Mystic
Lake Mile at Canterbury Park last summer. The latter won the
Arlington-Washington Futurity as a 2-year-old and is three-for-three
here including a score in the $65,000 Coach Jimi Lee Stakes last
summer. Eduardo Perez rides Mister Marti Gras while Rosemary Homeister
Jr. has the mount aboard Pataky Kid.
won the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland as a 2-year-old when
trained by Tom Albertrani. Now trained by former Albertrani assistant
Joshua Flores, the 4-year-old Johar colt ran sixth in the Ben Ali last
time out. Florent Geroux is named.
known more as a turf sprinter, Havelock won the 2012 edition of this
race. The Darrin Miller-trained 7-year-old has made two starts this
year, failing to hit the board in a pair of Grade III turf sprints in
Kentucky. James Graham will ride.
the non-graded stakes winners bring solid credentials to the Hanshin.
The Jim Tafel-owned and Greg Geier-trained Fordubai (Sheldon Russell)
won the $65,000 Straight Line Stakes over the Hanshin course and
distance and is multiple graded stakes placed; Kenneth Fishbein’s
Francois (Jeffrey Sanchez), trained by Cheryl Winebaugh, won the 2012
Straight Line here and is coming into the Hanshin off an allowance race
victory at Hawthorne; Mongolian Stable’s Mongolian Saturday (Emmanuel
Esquivel), trained by Enebish Ganbat, ran second in both last year’s
Straight Line here and in the $400,000 Researcher at Charles Town.
Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm’s Sir Applesolutely (Julien Leparoux), comes in off
an allowance race victory over the Keeneland Polytrack and had a sharp
work here earlier this week for trainer Chris Block; Gary and Mary
West’s Pass the Dice (Channing Hill), a Wayne Catalano-trained
6-year-old, has won half of his 10 starts and last out was second to
Departing in a tough Churchill Downs allowance race; Curtis Green’s
Tulira Castle (Danush Sukie), winner
of the $60,000 Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay last out for trainer
Jimmy DiVito; and the Bruce Lunsford-owned and Tom Drury-trained
Valentino Beauty (Brian Hernandez Jr.), a graded stakes-placed son of
Vindication who comes on off a Keeneland turf victory.