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Hanshin Cup, Arlington Matron Draw Solid Lineups
While Saturday's $200,000 American 1000 Guineas Festival is named for the 3-year-old filly turf race that has the day's richest purse, the 11-race card also features a pair of graded stakes races for older horses to be run over Polytrack - the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron for fillies and mares at nine furlongs and the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup at one mile.
The two Polytrack events comprise half of the four stakes races that constitute the American 1000 Guineas Festival that in addition to the aforementioned 1000 Guineas also includes the $150,000 Arlington Classic. Together, the four stakes races will make up a $100,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 Pool that will cover races eight through 11 on the 11-race card that starts at 1 p.m. Central time.
Courtlandt Farm's Indescribable looks for a repeat in the Matron after winning the 2008 renewal by half a length. Since that victory, the daughter of Pleasant Tap was transferred to the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and finished third in the Grade I Go For Wand at Saratoga last July. The 5-year-old mare comes in off successive stakes scores in the Grade III Cardinal Handicap over the Churchill Downs turf course last autumn and the Grade III Doubledogdare Stakes over Keeneland's Polytrack in April. Kent Desormeaux, aboard for her two most recent races, gets the call Saturday.
Hill n Dale Equine Holdings Inc.'s Serenading is a synthetic track specialist with four wins and 11 in-the-money finishes over such surfaces. The daughter of A. P. Indy was runner-up to Indescribable last time out but captured the $100,000 Bellemahne Stakes at Woodbine last August. John Velazquez gets the call aboard the Josie Carroll trainee.
Pin Oak Stable LLC's Euphony rides a four-race win streak into the Matron, most recently returning from nearly six months off to capture the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park in April. Trained by Donnie K. Von Hemel, the 4-year-old filly will partner again with her regular rider Cliff Berry.
Alfred H. Nuckols Jr.'s Kiss With a Twist was third in the Grade II Jenny Wiley on the Keeneland turf last time out after winning the $50,000 My Charmer Stakes and the $50,000 Wintergreen at Turfway Park during the winter. The Jose Fernandez-trained daughter of Lemon Drop Kid will be ridden by Miguel Mena.
Completitng the field for the Arlington Matron are: Kiki Courtelis's Sky Mom (Jamie Theriot); John & Kim Glenney's Gloria Goodbody (Jon Court); Joseph Higgins' Laguna Plateada (Eusebio Razo Jr.); Stewart L. Armstrong's Venetian Causeway (Brice Blanc); Chiefswood Stable's Born to Be (Rene Douglas); Nancy Vanier's Home's the Best (Lyndie Wade); and Dede McGehee's Boudoir (Eduardo Perez).
Illinois-bred Stonehouse, who races in the colors of Richard Rudolph & Michael Vranich,a winner of his last three starts seeks his fourth in the Hanshin Cup and has been installed as the 3-1 choice in the field of eight older horses.
The 5-year-old Chester House horse crushed state-bred rivals in the $90,000 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap last time out after beating open company foes in Oaklawn Park's $100,000 Fifth Season and in the $75,000 Gulf Coast Classic at Delta Downs. Trained by "Spanky" Broussard, Stonehouse will be ridden by Perry Compton.
Defending champion Jim Tafel LLC's Coragil Cat won the $53,400 Timeless Native Stakes here opening day and took that same prep last year in track-record time before capturing last year's Hanshin. The Greg Geier-trained son of Forest Wildcat will be ridden by Diego Sanchez, who was astride for both his local victories last season.
J. Mack Robinson's Cherokee Artist won a pair of allowance races over synthetic surfaces in his two most recent races - scoring over Keeneland's Polytrack as well as over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride surface. Jeremy Rose gets the call from trainer Graham Motion to ride the son of Cherokee Run.
Silverton Hill LLC's Dominican, a Grade I winner by virtue of his 2007 victory in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, looks for his first tally since capturing an allowance race at Presque Isle Downs last July. Trained by Darrin Miller, the son of El Corredor will be ridden by Miguel Mena.
Completing the field for the Hanshin Cup are: Del Sol Farm LLC & Hernandez Racing Club's Voy Por Uno Mas (Junior Alvarado); Phipps Stable's Vacation (John Velazquez); Robert Yagos's Spotsgone (Joe Johnson); and Team Block's Amazing Results (Rene Douglas).