Dundalk 5’s Crewman again proved his affinity for synthetic footing when returning to the Polytrack to post an upset in Saturday’s Grade III $ 100,000 Hanshin Cup at Arlington International Racecourse, giving his trainer Dee Poulos her first graded stakes win. The Hanshin was run for the 23rd time as an exchange race with the Japan Racing Association.
Ridden by Carlos Marquez, Jr., Crewman tracked out wide from close range through splits of 23.38 and 46.08 before having a go at the leader, Courtney Barousse’s Wyeth, after six furlongs in 1:10.20. Narrowly leading in midstretch, Crewman dug in to hold off Wyeth and a late charge from Triple K Stables’ race favorite Ghost Hunter to post a neck score in a final time of 1:35.06 for the one mile trip. After a troubled run in deep stretch, Ghost Hunter nailed Wyeth on the wire to grab second by a nose. Following an inquiry and a jockey’s objection into the late stages of the race, the stewards ruled that no change would be made to the running order.
“I worked him last week and he worked very good,” Carlos Marquez, Jr. said. “He went nice and easy and I told Mrs. Dee he’s ready, and when I called for him he was there, very game.”
“He just seems like he’s been improving every step and he’s relaxed and seems very happy training over this track,” Poulos said. “I had a lot of confidence because the other morning at coffee [Carlos Marquez, Jr.] said, ‘mama, we’re going to win the Hanshin.’”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better trip,” said Jose Valdivia, Jr., who rode Wyeth for trainer Tom Amoss. “Tom always knows what’s right for the horse, and he said, ‘don’t take away anything that you’re given.’ He got a flyer out of there, he was doing it very comfortable, and around the turn he gave me a nice breather and I thought I had a lot of horse. It was just down the lane, battling with [Crewman] I hit him a couple of times left handed and he kept digging and trying. No complaints.”
“I really got a perfect trip through the turn, then my horse started lugging in which didn’t help me to get a clear trip in the stretch,” Jevian Toledo said of his ride aboard Ghost Hunter for trainer Cory Jensen. “I went to go between and the horse on the inside came out, but I think the other horse coming in cost me the race for sure. I had plenty of horse left, just nowhere to go.”
Crewman, a 6-year-old gelded son of Candy Ride (Arg), won for the sixth time in 31 lifetime starts and earned $ 56,400 to boost his career bankroll to $ 232,824. He returned $ 52.60, $ 19.20 and $ 12.20, with Ghost Hunter paying $ 4.60 and $ 3.80. Wyeth returned $ 5.
Hootenanny, Dac, Rated R Superstar, Trace Creek, Surgical Strike, Dimension (GB), Valiant City and Scitech completed the running order.
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