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Workin for Hops Wins Hanshin Cup
Estrorace’s Workin For Hops tipped three wide approaching the top of the stretch, took command at mid-stretch and drew off to win the Grade III $100,000 Hanshin Cup by three lengths on Saturday at Arlington Park. The Mike Stidham-trained son of City Zip rallied under strong handling by James Graham to cover the one mile distance over Polytrack in 1:34.55.
The 4-year-old colt notched his third Arlington Park stakes victory in the Hanshin after capturing the $100,000 Arlington Classic and the Grade II American Derby as a sophomore. The Hanshin Cup was his first stakes score on a synthetic surface with his prior added money wins coming on the turf. He earned $57,600 to boost his bankroll to $584,776.
“He loved (the Arlington Polytrack),” said Graham, who picked up his third of four winners on the day. “He got over it great. I had a lot of horse. He won so easy today that it wasn’t even funny. At the half-mile pole I said, ‘They ain’t gonna beat him today.’”
Pacific Ocean made a belated rally to finish second but was no match for the winner. It was another half-length back to Havelock, who ran third in the nine-horse field.
“I was right behind the winner,” said Junior Alvarado, who rode the runner-up. “I think the race was just a little long for him. Usually when I ask him, he has a nice kick. This time he wasn't as quick.”
Cool Bullet and Pointing North battled for the lead through the first seven furlongs cutting quick fractions of 22.50 seconds, 45.43 seconds, 1:09.62 and 1:21.97 before getting swallowed up by the top three finishers. Pulsion, Akhmatova and Quite a Handful completed the order of finish.
Workin for Hops was sent of as the 2-1 favorite and paid $6.40, $3.40 and $2.80. Pacific Ocean returned $3.60 and $3.20. Havelock paid $6.80.