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Stidham-Trained Pair Among Horses to Beat in Grade III Hanshin Cup
Two horses trained by Mike Stidham - Darley Stable's Tybalt and Feel The Thunder Stable's Gran Estreno - are prominently featured in a nine-horse field that passed the entry box Wednesday for Saturday's Hanshin Cup at one mile over Polytrack.
The Grade III $150,000 race will share the Saturday spotlight with the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Matron for fillies and mares on the main track.
A son of Storm Cat, Tybalt returns from a three-month layoff for Saturday's Hanshin Cup after last appearing when victorious in a third-level allowance race at the Fair Grounds Feb. 27. Prior to that, the 6-year-old horse ran fourth in the Grade III Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap at the New Orleans racetrack. A Grade II stakes placed horse with earnings of more than $170,000, he will be ridden Saturday by Michael Baze.
Gran Estreno on the other hand is looking to strike while the iron is hot. The son of Lucky Roberto is back barely three weeks after wiring a third-level allowance on May 6 over the same course and distance of Saturday's Hanshin Cup. The front-running 7-year-old earned his biggest score last September when leading every step of the way in the Grade III Washington Park Handicap. E. T. Baird has a return call aboard the Argentine-bred horse.
Trainer Louie Roussel III also sends out two for the Hanshin - Recapturetheglory, owned by Roussel in partnership with Ronald Lamarque, and Brother Nicholas, owned completely by the trainer. Of these, the former is better known having won the Grade II Illinois Derby in 2008. More recently, the son of Cherokee Run returned from an eight-month layoff to finish second as the favorite in a third-level allowance on turf. The latter meanwhile ran second to Gran Estreno here May 6. Eduardo Perez has been named aboard both halves of the entry.
Another who might get some respect at the windows is Homewrecker Racing Stable's Wildeydsouthernboy, a winner over 7 ½ furlongs here last year. The Hugh Robertson-trained son of Double Honor ran fourth in the $100,000 Robert S. Molaro Stakes against state-bred company at Hawthorne in his last start April 24. Cliff Berry has the mount.
Completing the field for the Hanshin (with riders named) are: Pam Marcum's McLard (Julio Felix); Bonnie Heath Farm et. al.'s Mad Flatter (Florent Geroux); Jim Tafel's Country Flavor (Inez Karlsson); and Texas Toyco's Victory Notion (Junior Alvarado).