Multiple stakes winner Workin for Hops, who races for Amy
Bondon’s Estrorace LLC, heads a competitive group of nine, including defending
champion Jim Tafel LLC’s Country Flavor, entered for Saturday’s Grade III
Hanshin Cup. The one-mile race over Polytrack is the first event on Arlington’s $4.3 million
A son of City Zip, Workin for Hops comes into the Hanshin
off a runner-up finish to Get Stormy in the Grade I Maker’s Mark Mile over the
Keeneland turf course and before that ran fourth in a pair of graded stakes
races over the lawn at the Fair Grounds. The Mike Stidham-trained
4-year-old won both the $100,000 Arlington Classic and the Grade II American
Derby over the Arlington
turf course last year. While a proven commodity over grass, he has made
just two starts on all-weather courses, boasting a win and a second albeit
against easier competition. James Graham has the riding assignment.
Defending champion Country Flavor has not started since
March when finishing eighth in the Grade II New Orleans Handicap at the Fair
Grounds. Prior to that the Greg Geier-trained son of Empire Maker ran
third in the $60,000 Louisiana Handicap and won the $60,000 Tenacious
Handicap. Jozbin Santana picks up the mount aboard Country Flavor for the
first time Saturday.
Trevor Stewart’s Akhmatova is the lone filly in the
race. The daughter of Cape Cross is trained by Gerard Butler, who is campaigning
a string stateside at Arlington
Park for the first time
in 2011. The 4-year-old has not started since January when she finished
seventh beaten only 2 ½ lengths for all of it in a stakes race over the
all-weather surface at Deauville in France.
Eduardo Perez has been named to ride.
Robert & Lawana Low and Winmore LLC’s Cool Bullet has a
pair of runner-up finishes in stakes company over Polytrack this year.
The Red Bullet gelding ran second to Aikenite in the Grade II Commonwealth at
Keeneland and before that was second in the $50,000 Forego at Turfway Park.
E. T. Baird gets the call.
Gary & Mary West’s Pacific Ocean carries a perfect
three-for-three record into the Hanshin, breaking his maiden over the Arlington
Polytrack last August. The son of Ghostzapper then won a first-level
allowance at Keeneland last fall and a second-level allowance there earlier
this year. The Wayne Catalano trainee will be ridden by Junior Alvarado.
Completing the field for the Hanshin (with riders listed)
are: Tim Williams’ Pointing North (Eusebio Razo Jr.); Silverton Hill LLC’s
Havelock (Jermaine Bridgmohan); Jean & Ted Barlas and Mike Porcaro’s Quite
a Handful (Tanner Riggs) and Flying Zee Stable, Kona Stable, M. Imperio &
K. Hui’s Pulsion (Florent Geroux).