Multiple graded stakes winner Scuba showed the form that made him the Grade 2 Marathon winner last year as he returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since that race in winning the Grade 3 Hawthorne Gold Cup on Saturday.
Trainer Brendan Walsh capped a fine year at Hawthorne as well as he sent out Multiplier to a victory in this spring’s Illinois Derby. In the Gold Cup, Scuba was sent away as the 2-1 second choice just behind Eagle. Getting away for the lead was local longshot Side Pocket as jockey Victor Santiago backed down the pace in the 1 ¼ mile event through fractions of :24.66 and :50.13. Tracked by Futile down the backstretch, Side Pocket maintained a two length lead into the turn, covering three quarters in 1:14.56. In the turn, Futile began to gain ground with Scuba and jockey Alonso Quinonez ranging up three wide. Mid-stretch, Futile moved alongside Side Pocket to take over while Scuba was within three lengths of the leaders. In the final seventy yards, Scuba rallied and got up in the shadow of the wire, catching Futile to win by a half-length. Side Pocket held on to finish third. The final time for the Hawthorne Gold Cup was 2:03.12.
With the $90,000 winner’s share in the Gold Cup, Scuba boosted his career earnings to $671,210. Scuba returned $6.20, $3.40, and $3.00. Futile came back $4.00 and $3.00 while Side Pocket returned $4.60 to show.
Jockey Alonso Quinonez was aboard Scuba, “First of all, I want to thank the connections for giving me this opportunity. We have been working with this horse. He had been going for the lead but tiring so we decided to try to get him to settle behind horses. It worked. I thought we were in good position and I knew I had horse but then the 2 (Futile) went to the lead and I knew we had our work cut out for us. But, when I asked Scuba, he responded and finished very well. I’m very happy.”
Source: Hawthorne Race Course