Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup is on tap for this Saturday, November 30 from Cicero, Illinois. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $350,000 purse when they go 1 1/4 miles on Hawthorne Race Course's dirt track.
A strong field of nine has been confirmed for the Hawthorne Gold Cup - race 8 on Hawthorne's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:43 PM. Here is a brief glance into the past performances of all nine entries for this intriguing Grade 2 stakes.
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2013 Hawthorne Gold Cup Race Favorite Entries
Last Gunfighter - Chad Brown trained colt had a six race win streak snapped four back with a respectable second in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap behind Flat Out at Belmont Park July 7 with a career best 103 Beyer Speed Figure. He returned to the winner's circle in the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park August 18 but fell back to a fifth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup - his worst career result. He followed that with another fifth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Classic. His other wins include two minor stakes scores and the Grade 3 Pimlico Special May 17 by an impressive 4 1/2 lengths after a win in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Hawthorne Race Course March 23. He has placed in 12 of 14 career starts - those seven wins, three seconds and two third place finishes but has failed to place in his last two overall - both Grade 1 stakes races. Despite the recent hiccup Last Gunfighter is the 9-5 morning line favorite and departs from post 3 with Joe Bravo aboard.
Alpha - had a very good 2012 season which included a second to Gemologist in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial in April 2012 after two straight wins - the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Hawthorne Race Course last February 4 and the Count Fleet Stakes in January. He also won the 2012 Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes on July 28 and recorded a win in a dead heat in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes in August 2012 at Saratoga. He enters this weekend having placed in just one of his last five graded stakes starts however - a terrific win in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga August 31. Sandwiched around that win is a pair of sixths -in the Grade 1 Jockey Gold Cup and August 3 in the Grade 1 Whitney. Last time out was an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Despite an unflattering year, Alpha's experience against top competition has him as the 3-1 second choice for the Hawthorne Gold Cup. Eddie Castro gets the call from post 5.
Hawthorne Gold Cup 2013 | Remaining Contenders
Prayer For Relief - Steve Asmussen trained entry has five starts in 2013 and two wins - the Grade 3 Prairie Meadows Handicap June 29 and the minor Governor's Cup at Remington Park in August to go along with two seconds - in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap May 27 and in the Grade 3 Texas Mile Stakes at Lone Star April 27 after a nearly eight month layoff. Last time out was his worst result this year - a fifth in the minor Homecoming Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs September 28. He has seven wins, five seconds and four third place finishes in 23 career starts and has looked good this year. Prayer for Relief is 7-2 on the morning line and will have Chris Emigh aboard from post 7.
Suns Out Guns Out - Dale Romans trained colt has two wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 10 starts this year but has just two graded stakes races under his belt - a fourth in the Grade 3 Greenwood at Parx September 2 and an OK fourth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Marathon. His wins were both Allowance Optional Claiming races - the last being September 21 at Parx. He has just three wins in 23 career starts and will have local favorite Francisco Torres aboard from post 8.
Derby Kitten - Michael Maker trainee races in graded stakes company for the first time since May 2012 but enters having placed in seven of eight races this year. Last time out was a third in the minor First Responder Stakes October 12 at Parx after a win in the minor Cliff Guilliams Handicap at Ellis Park in September. Derby Kitten's career highlight came in April 2011 - a win in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes but he has placed in just one of six graded stakes races since. Channing Hill will ride Derby Kitten as he is 10-1 in the morning line.
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Mister Marti Gras - local product finished fourth in this race last year and went on to win two straight Allowance races on this track. He has a win, two seconds and a third place finish in five starts this year - the best result being a second in the Grade3 Hanshin Cup at Arlington Park in May. Last time out was an OK third in the minor Robert F. Carey Memorial here October 12 after a fourth in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap and a nice win in the minor Mystic Lake Mile at Canterbury Park in May. Mister Marti Gras has nine wins, nine seconds and four third place finishes in 34 career starts. Eddie Perez is listed to ride Mister Marti Gras from the rail at 12-1.
Hattaash - is coming off an Allowance Optional Claiming score here October 4 after an OK third in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park August 31. His other graded stakes results include a sixth in the Grade 2 Hanshin Cup in May and a fifth in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes here in April. Hattaash has four wins and a third place finish in eight starts this year. Emanuel Esquivel will get the mount once again on the 15-1 pick on the morning line.
Street Spice - had a second in an Allowance March 24 in his first race since an Allowance Optional Claiming score December 16. He raced to an OK fifth in the Grade 3 Illinois Derby April 20 on this track but followed that with a distant tenth in the Grade 3 Matt Winn in May. Street Spice is coming off his first win since December - an Allowance Optional Claiming score here October 9 after a seventh in the minor Straight Line Stakes at Arlington Park in August. He has a win and a second in five starts this year and has three wins on this track. He departs from the outside post at 20-1 odds.
Fordubai - has four wins and two second place finished in nine career starts for trainer Greg Geier. He entered the Indiana Derby in a two race win streak - in the minor Straight Line Stakes at Arlington Park August 17 and an Allowance Optional Claiming on that same track in July. But he disappointed in the Indiana Derby finishing sixth last time out. Before the wins was a twelfth in the Grade 3 Arlington Classic in May after a good second in the Grade 3 Illinois Derby in April. He has been up and down in graded stakes action and will be looking for a strong bounce back this week. He is the longest shot in the field at 30-1 odds and will line up in post 6.