Hudson Landing came from off the pace to post an upset in the $150,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT) April 28, winning his third in a row at Golden Gate Fields since being claimed for $50,000 in February. (VIDEO)
Ridden by Juan Hernandez for trainer Blaine Wright and Jared Chappel's Chappell Alpine Farms, 8-1 shot Hudson Landing took the lead from Gallant Son in deep stretch and staved off the late charge of 1-2 choice Jeranimo by a half-length. Hudson Landing, who was sixth in last year's San Francisco Mile, was timed in 1:37.29 over a turf course rated good.
Wright claimed Hudson Landing out of a one-mile optional claiming event on the Tapeta main track at Golden Gate Feb. 25. It was the fifth time the 5-year-old Maria's Mon gelding had been claimed since last July at Hollywood Park. In two starts previously for Wright, Hudson Landing posted victories while routing on the Tapeta in optional claiming races.
“He had to win a couple of times to try this race, and he did that,” said Chappel. “He loves this track and this grass. To be able to take a shot like this and have it pay off is amazing.”
Hudson Landing earned his first graded victory. He previously captured the Alcatraz Stakes on the Golden Gate turf in May 2010. Bred in Kentucky by Fred M. Allor, Hudson Landing is out of Morning Star, by Shotiche. The chestnut gelding earned his 10th lifetime victory in 29 starts and extended his earnings to $365,688 with the winning share of $90,000.
Forwardly placed in his recent races, Hernandez kept Hudson Landing mid-pack in the field of 10 as 46-1 outsider Sanger Silver set the pace over Gallant Son. The fractions were :23.87, :48.29, and 1:12.17 before Gallant Son, making his first start since last August for trainer Frank Lucarelli, took over at the top of the stretch.
Gallant Son took command in the lane but began to weaken under Leslie Mawing as Hudson Landing charged on the outside. A determined Hudson Landing grabbed the lead, then dug in during in the late stages as multiple grade II winner Jeranimo and Mike Smith rallied powerfully from next-to-last but ran out of time.
“He relaxed and did everything perfect,” said Hernandez, who has been aboard Hudson Landing for the three-race winning streak. “When we were coming to the quarter pole I moved him outside and hit him, and he took off. He ran strong down the stretch.”
Jeranimo, losing for the fifth time in six tries at the one-mile distance on turf, finished three-quarters of a length in front of Gallant Son, who turned in a big effort off the layoff at odds of 12-1. Gallant Son was the runner-up in last year's San Francisco Mile.
“I didn’t have a very good trip,” said Smith, who rode Jeranimo for the first time. “I got him to relax but he relaxed a little bit too much. I got caught behind a bunch of horses that were stopping and I had take the overland trip and ended up going too wide. I think he was the best horse, but you have to give the winner credit. He ran a very good race.”
The stalker Calimonco lacked the needed closing kick and finished fourth as the second choice. Then came multiple stakes winner Positive Response, making his grass debut, Live Sundays, Worth Repeating, Sanger Silver, Mr. Candy Bar, and Dunmore East.
Under equal weights of 122 pounds, Hudson Landing paid $19.60, $5.20, $3.80. Jeranimo, shipping north for trainer Michael Pender, returned $2.40 and $2.20 and completed a $51.80 exacta. Gallant Son was $4.20 to show.
Photo Shopped was scratched.