Lewis Michael Favored in Arlington Park Hanshin Cup

Frank Calabrese’s Lewis Michael, most recently second in the April 14 Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) at Keeneland, has been installed as the 7-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday’s Hanshin Cup (gr. III) at Arlington Park. The one-mile event for a purse of $100,000 will be the first graded stakes race to be contested over Arlington’s Polytrack surface and has attracted a field of 11.

Lewis Michael, a 4-year-old son of Rahy, should be right at home over Arlington’s Polytrack after two second-place finishes on Keeneland’s synthetic surface. The Wayne Catalano-trained colt has been working well for his local return, breezing an easy half-mile in :49 4/5 at Arlington May 22. Four-time Arlington Park riding champion Rene Douglas has the mount aboard Lewis Michael, who carries 118 pounds.

Highweighted at 120 pounds for the Hanshin is Melnyk Racing Stables’ Gouldings Green, the winner of last year’s edition following the disqualification of Fifteen Rounds for interference in the stretch. Since then, the Tony Reinstedler trainee added victories in the Seagram Stakes (gr. III) at Woodbine and the Turfway Park Fall Championship (gr. III) in Kentucky last year. The 6-year-old son of 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic will be ridden by Larry Sterling Jr.

Edward J. Sukley’s Purim comes into the Hanshin off a third-place run in the Maker’s Mark Mile (gr. II) at Keeneland in April. Earlier this year, the son of Dynaformer captured the $100,000 Col. E. R. Bradley Handicap at the Fair Grounds. The Tom Proctor-trained hero of the 2005 Arlington Classic (gr. III) and the 2006 Illinois Owners Stakes over the Arlington turf will be making his first start over a synthetic surface in the Hanshin. Jamie Theriot has been named to ride.

Also making his first start over Polytrack is Team Block’s Fort Prado, the defending Illinois Horse of the Year who was a winner on turf in his last start, the $100,000 Russell L. Reineman Illinois Owners Stakes. Follwing the Reineman victory, trainer Chris Block stated his desire to try Fort Prado on the synthetic surface and prepped the 6-year-old El Prado horse for Saturday’s headliner with a :48 1/5 half-mile drill on the main track.  Eduardo Perez has the call.

Hanshin Cup (gr. III, Race 9, Approximate post 5:00 p.m.), $100,000 for Three-year-olds and up, 1 mile)
1. Throng, Jesse Campbell 114
2. Fort Prado, Eduardo Perez 117
3. Buddy Got Even, Eusebio Razo, Jr. 116
4. Star by Design, Carlos Silva 114
5. Connections, Jose Ferrer 114
6. Gouldings Green, Larry Sterling, Jr. 120
7. Lewis Michael, Rene Douglas 118
8. Spotsgone, Earlie Fires 113
9. Barbican, Kerwin John 113
10. High Expectations, Christopher Emigh 113
11. Purim, Jamie Theriot 118

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