Lothenbach Stables’ Mister Marti Gras
rallied from far back to nail front-running favorite Workin For Hops in the
final strides to win the Grade III $100,000 Washington Park Handicap Saturday
at Arlington Park. Eduardo Perez was astride the homebred son of Belong
to Me who ran the mile and an eighth over Polytrack in 1:51.60.
Content to keep the Chris Block-trained
4-year-old far back early, Perez eased his mount to the outside on the second
turn and made a strong rally down the center of the track to prevail at the
wire while avoiding trouble just to his inside.
“My horse was running straight,” Perez
said. “I didn’t cause the problem (near the wire). They told me to
stay off the pace and didn’t want me to be too close. I took my shot
pretty good and my horse ran very hard.”
At the same time the winner was making
his move, Maristar was moving between horses and was steadied inside the
sixteenth pole. Her rider, E. T. Baird, claimed foul against both the
winner and runner-up alleging interference. After a lengthy review, the
stewards disqualified Workin for Hops from second and placed him third, moving
Maristar to the second spot.
“(I) didn’t have a rough trip until the last
part of it, but I think I would have won if I hadn’t gotten pinched,” Baird
“(It’s been) a very
eventful hour,” added Maristar’s trainer Gerard Butler referring to his
second-place at Saratoga with Pachattack in the Personal Ensign and a move up
to second here with Maristar.
Park was the first graded
stakes victory for Mister Marti Gras, whose overall record improved to five
wins from 17 starts. He earned $58,200 to boost his bankroll to
Sent off at 7-1 odds, he paid $16.80, $7 and $3.40.
Maristar returned $7.40 and $4.20. Workin for Hops paid $2.60.
Burj Alzain, Color Me Blue, Dark Cove, General Quarters and
completed the order of finish in the eight-horse field.