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Coragil Cat Adds Hanshin Cup to Win Ledger
Jim Tafel LLC’s Coragil Cat, who set an Arlington Polytrack record mile of 1:33.55 in his last start, burst through in mid-stretch and drew off to win the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Stakes by three lengths on Saturday. Diego Sanchez rode the Greg Geier-trained son of Forest Wildcat, who covered the mile in 1:34.86.
The Hanshin was the third straight win for the 4-year-old colt, who captured the $53,000 Timeless Native Stakes on May 3 and an allowance race at the Fair Grounds in March to rebound from a winless 2007 campaign. Overall, his record stands at four wins from 22 starts and the $58,200 winner’s share pushed his earnings to $170,075.
“He’s trained excellently since his last race so we decided to run and give him a chance here,” Geier said. “He turned it around here a bit last year with some seconds and thirds. He really got good the last month (of the meet) at the Fair Grounds and it continued on up here.”
“I had a lot of confidence the last time I rode him and more confidence today,” added Sanchez. “He’s a slow horse in the mornings and he’s a different horse in the afternoon. They were going very fast up front, so I waited. My horse started to run by himself, so I let him go ahead.”
Defending champion Spotsgone set a very quick pace on the lead through fractions of 22.86 seconds, 45.92 seconds and 1:09.55 before giving way in the stretch.
Morada Key was second in the eight-horse race, two lengths ahead of Steve’s Double who ran third. Beaten favorite Lovango was fourth, followed by Throng, Fort Prado, Stonehouse and Spotsgone.
“I had a perfect trip, everything went our way,” said jockey Larry Sterling Jr. of Morada Key’s trip. “I just couldn’t run them down. I got outrun.”
“At the quarter pole, I thought I was a winner, but then he just fell apart,” said Rene Douglas, who rode the beaten favorite. “He just put his head down. I think he might have bled.”
Coragil Cat was dispatched at odds of more than 11-1, returning $24.20, $10.40 and $5.60. Morada Key paid $28.60 and $12.40. Steve’s Double paid $6.20.