Arlington Million

Race History

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Date/Track

Race

GradeDistanceFinishChartReplay

July 12, 2014 - Del

Cape Henlopen Stakes

  1 1/2 Miles (T)1ChartReplay

June 8, 2014 - Mth

Allowance


1 1/16 Miles (T)1ChartReplay

Connections

Edward L. Graham

Trainer

Eddie Graham is a 43-year-old Pennsylvania-based trainer whose six-horse string includes four steeplechasers and had never started a horse in a garded stakes entering the 2014 Arlington Million.

Eriluis Vaz

Jockey

Vaz, a native of Rio Bierda, Puerto Rico, attended and graduated from riding school in Puerto Rico.  He came to the U.S. shortly thereafter and spent a year galloping horses at Belmont Park for various trainers Patrick Raino and Gary Contessa among others. His first win came at Aqueduct in 2004 and now rides at Parx Racing (the former Philadelphia Park).

Andrew Bentley Stables, LLC

Owner

Hardest Core's owner Andrew Bentley is the son of steeplechase horse owner Greg Bentley, who bought the horse as a gift for his son Andrew. Ex-steeplechase trainer Rusty Carrier bought into Hardest Core and initially sent the charge to be conditioned by Paul Roland.

Pedigree

Hardest Core is by Hard Spun, a son of Danzig who displayed brilliance from sprints up to the American classic distance of 1 1/4 miles. Runner-up in the 2007 Kentucky Derby -- where only Street Sense foiled his bold front-running gambit -- Hard Spun later reverted to seven furlongs for the King's Bishop and earned a well-deserved Grade 1 victory. He also won a pair of 1 1/8-mile events, the Lane's End and Kentucky Cup Classic; finished second in the Haskell and Breeders' Cup Classic; third in the Preakness; and fourth in the Belmont Stakes.

Hard Spun sired a champion in his very first crop, the filly Questing, who dominated the 2012 Coaching Club American Oaks and Alabama. His current headliner is Wicked Strong, hero of the TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial and most recently successful in the July 26 Jim Dandy. Other major winners by Hard Spun include 2012 Mother Goose scorer Zo Impressive and this season's Jenny Wiley victress Hard Not to Like.

Hardest Core is out of the winning Lillybuster, making him a half-brother to multiple stakes-placed Calla Lily. Despite the abundant speed close up in the maternal line, Calla Lily produced a turf marathoner in Side Road, runner-up in both the 1 1/2-mile Elkhorn and 1 5/8-mile John's Call last year.

Lillybuster is by Hall of Famer Housebuster, the champion sprinter of 1990 and 1991 who could carry his speed up to a mile. The winner of such races as the Vosburgh, Carter, Jerome, Withers, Forego, King's Bishop and Frank J. De Francis Memorial, the son of Mt. Livermore sired Hong Kong standout Electronic Unicorn, 2004 Nunthorpe victor Bahamian Pirate, 2001 Sanford scorer Buster's Daydream and turf speedster Morluc. Housebuster mares are responsible for two high-profile performers of 2014: Monrovia and Buena Vista heroine Pontchatrain and sophomore sprinter Hot Streak, who defeated older horses in the May 24 Temple at Haydock.

Lillybuster is a half-sister to Gilded Time, the unbeaten champion two-year-old colt of 1992. In his first start since capturing the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Gilded Time returned from a year-long layoff to finish a close third in the 1993 Breeders' Cup Sprint. There is stamina a little deeper in the family, however. Hardest Core's third dam, the *Princequillo mare Luquillo, produced 1970 Belmont Stakes winner High Echelon.

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Starter Analysis

Cross-entered in the St. Leger, son of 15% grass sire Hard Spun has won five of his nine starts on turf, most recently when winning a twelve furlong stakes at Delaware in July when making his second start of the year. Four-year-old will make his second start for trainer Edward Graham who won with six of his last ten starters that won their last start and, while he does appear on the improve, it would be a surprise if colt proved good enough to be a factor here. 

01 Hardest Core 20-1