Estrorace’s Workin For Hops tipped three wide approaching
the top of the stretch, took command at mid-stretch and drew off to win the
Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup by three lengths on Saturday at Arlington
Park. The Mike Stidham-trained son of City Zip rallied under strong
handling by James Graham to cover the one mile distance over Polytrack in
The 4-year-old colt notched his third Arlington
stakes victory in the Hanshin after capturing the $100,000 Arlington Classic
and the Grade II American Derby as a sophomore. The Hanshin Cup was his
first stakes score on a synthetic surface with his prior added money wins
coming on the turf. He earned $57,600 to boost his bankroll to $584,776.
“He loved (the Arlington Polytrack),” said Graham, who
picked up his third of four winners on the day. “He got over it
great. I had a lot of horse. He won so easy today that it wasn’t
even funny. At the half-mile pole I said, ‘They ain’t gonna beat him
made a belated rally to finish second but was no match for the winner. It
was another half-length back to Havelock,
who ran third in the nine-horse field.
“I was right behind the winner,” said Junior Alvarado, who
rode the runner-up. “I think the race was just a little long for him.
Usually when I ask him, he has a nice kick. This time he wasn't as quick.”
Cool Bullet and Pointing North battled for the lead through
the first seven furlongs cutting quick fractions of 22.50 seconds, 45.43
seconds, 1:09.62 and 1:21.97 before getting swallowed up by the top three
finishers. Pulsion, Akhmatova and Quite a Handful completed the
order of finish.
Workin for Hops was sent of as the 2-1 favorite and paid
$6.40, $3.40 and $2.80. Pacific
Ocean returned $3.60 and $3.20. Havelock