The 67th running of the GIII $100,000 Hanshin Cup will mark the first Stakes race of the 2019 Arlington meet. It will be run at 1 mile on the Polytrack with a field of eleven older horses including last year’s runner up. The 2019 running will be the 23rd year the GIII Hanshin Cup is run as an exchange race between Arlington International Racecourse and the Japan Racing Association.
Last year’s 2nd place finisher will look to visit the winners circle in the 2019 edition.
Goneghost will be making his second start of 2019 in this year’s GIII Hanshin. The lightly raced 6-year-old has hit the board in 6 of his 7 tries on an All-Weather surface including a 2nd place finish in last year’s Addison Cammack Stakes at Arlington Park after his runner up finish in this race last year. The son of Cherokee Rap was last seen in the Forego Stakes at Turfway park where he finished 6th going 6 furlongs. He will be stretching back out to a mile and although it is a one turn mile, he seems to prefer going longer and has also never been off of the board on the Arlington synthetic track. Goneghost is owned by William Stiritz, trained by Scott Becker and will be ridden by Chris Emigh from post 9.
Richiesinthehouse went 5 for 6 in 2018 before being put on the sideline for 4 months. He returned at Golden Gate fields where he went on to win three straight against allowance company over the All-Weather surface at the Northern California track. He was last seen in the GIII Commonwealth at Keenland on April 6th, where he pressed the early pace but completely threw in the towel late to finish 11th in the 12 horse field. Trainer Larry Rivelli shows confidence in him however, wheeling him back in another GIII and stretching him out to a one-turn mile. He is the son of Sidneys Candy who won the GII San Vicente, GII San Felipe, and GI Santa Anita Derby as a 3-year-old going a route of ground.
Richiesinthehouse will also be returning to the Arlington synthetic where he is 3 for 4 lifetime. Owned by Richard Ravin and Patricia’s Hope, LLC and trained by Larry Rivelli, he will be ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr. breaking from post 4.
Nun The Less is approaching the half-million-dollar career earnings mark as a 7-year-old. After falling a bit out of form at the end of 2018, he has shown so far in 2019 that he is a Graded Stakes caliber horse after winning the Kubota Kentucky Cup Classic Stakes at Turfway Park as the 2-1 favorite, and running a solid 2nd in the GIII Ben Ali at Keenland last time out. Owned by Crystal Racing Enterprises and Contreras Stable Inc. Nun The Less has never finished off of the board on a synthetic surface, and is a multiple time Stakes winner and Graded Stakes placed runner.
He will be looking to score his first Graded Stakes victory on Saturday, and leads the field in purse earnings with over $491,000. He will be ridden by Rodney Prescott from post 6 on Saturday.
Trainer Scott Becker will also bring in Gita’s Lad who is on a three race win streak in his own right. Shipping in from across town at Hawthorne, Gita’s Lad has won two Allowance races with ease so far in 2019 both coming at Hawthorne Race Course.
Since finishing 4th in November of last year, he hasn’t finished worse than 2nd in his last four races. This will be his first time trying Graded Stakes company and his second try over the Arlington synthetic. He is a homebred for owner William Stiritz, and will be ridden by Victor Santiago from post 1.
The GIII Hanshin Cup is carded as Race 7 and is the feature of the Saturday nine race card. Approximate pot time for the Hanshin is 5:07 PM CST