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Contact: David Zenner
SPOTSGONE POSTS HUGE UPSET IN GRADE III HANSHIN CUP
$165.00 Mutuel Largest in History of Race
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 26, 2007) – Robert Yagos’ Spotsgone broke on the lead and never looked back en route to a 2¼-length victory in the $100,000 Hanshin Cup on Saturday at Arlington Park. The son of Bright Launch was ridden by Hall-of-Fame jockey Earlie Fires, and was sent off at odds of more than 80-1 and returned $165, $38 and $9.60. The Grade III one-mile event was the first graded stakes run over Arlington’s state-of-the-art Polytrack and was timed in a meet’s best 1:33.72.
Trained by William “Jinks” Fires, Spotsgone was not initially pointed for the Hanshin, but circumstances led to the 4-year-old colt being entered.
“We had entered him in a couple of allowance races here and at Churchill but neither one of them went,” explained the trainer. “We had nominated him here so we went for it. We thought he’d run well, but he’d never been on the Polytrack, so we were a little skeptical about that. He doesn’t like horses on the outside of him and Earlie (Fires, jockey) didn’t let that happen.”
Quick from the gate, Spotsgone led through fractions of :23.38, :45.61, 1:09.95 and 1:21.05 en route to the final clocking.
The Hanshin was the first graded stakes win for Spotsgone, whose overall record improved to five wins from 23 starts. The $60,000 winner’s share boosted his bankroll to $230,742.
Lewis Michael, the 6-5 post time favorite, rallied to finish second but did not pose a serious threat in the stretch. He returned $3.40 and $2.80.
“I don’t know what to say. I thought I rode a perfect race, but, of course I’m not happy with the result,” said Rene Douglas, who rode the beaten favorite. “I didn’t want to look like a fool chasing a horse that’s 80-1, so I was happy with my horse’s position. The other horse just didn’t come back to me. It’s just one of those things.”
Gouldings Green, the defending champion, finished third in the 10-horse field and paid $4.20.
“I had a perfect trip,” said Larry Sterling Jr., Gouldings Green’s jockey. “I was sitting about fourth or fifth behind Lewis Michael. They were smoking on the front end so I thought I was in a great spot but my horse just didn’t finish as well as I would have liked.”
Fort Prado, Buddy Got Even, High Expectations, Throng, Purim, Barbican and Star by Design completed the order of finish.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 94-day meet in 2007 from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates nine off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities – Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Chicago, Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Rockford, Trackside Waukegan, Fat Sam’s Bar & Grill featuring Trackside OTB in Lockport, Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin, Nicolino’s featuring Trackside OTB in McHenry and The Inferno featuring Trackside OTB in South Beloit. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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