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New York shipper Last Gunfighter earned his fourth graded stakes win of the year, closing to get the job done in the $350,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Hawthorne Racecourse Nov. 30.
Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Last Gunfighter and grade I winner Alpha head a competitive Nov. 30 edition of the $350,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap Presented by Xpressbet (gr. II).
Game On Dude, making his third start in the Classic, is the morning line favorite.
Seven-year-old faces Cross Traffic and star 3-year-olds Orb and Palace Malice in $1 million event at 1 1/4 miles Sept. 28 at Belmont Park.
At Belmont, Todd Pletcher worked Cross Traffic and Palace Malice while Chad Brown breezed Last Gunfighter, and at Saratoga Kiaran McLaughlin sent Alpha through his final paces for the Sept. 28 event.
Scratches took the field for the $148,500 Philip H. Iselin Stakes (gr. III) from eight to five, but they didn't derail a thrilling race down the lane between victorious odds-on choice Last Gunfighter and San Pablo.
Last Gunfighter, who had his six-race winning streak stopped by Flat Out in the Suburban Handicap (gr. II), looks to start another one when he takes on seven rivals in the 1 1/8-mile Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Nearly unbeatable at Belmont Park, Flat Out collected his fifth win from six starts at the New York oval while finishing much the best for his second victory in the $350,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) July 6.
Last Gunfighter has won six in a row, including the Pimlico Special (gr. III) last time out. On July 6 he looks to make it seven when he takes on a compact field including multi-millionare Flat Out.
Godolphin Racing's Alpha, who dead-heated for first in last year's Travers Stakes (gr. I), is set to make his next start July 6 in the $350,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
Odds-on choice Last Gunfighter collared pacesetter Eighttofasttocatch in the final furlong and drew off by 4 1/4 lengths for his sixth consecutive victory May 17 in the $300,000 Pimlico Special (gr. III) in Baltimore, Md.
John Gunther's Last Gunfighter, who has won five in a row since his maiden victory last October, will invade Maryland and face mostly locally based horses in the $300,000 Pimlico Special (gr. III) May 1.
Last Gunfighter overcame a troubled start and came through on the rail to win the $150,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) March 23 at Aqueduct, while 2011 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Ruler On Ice finished fifth.
The 3-1 second choice on the morning line for the $150,000 Excelsior Stakes (gr. III) March 23 at Aqueduct Racetrack is 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice, who won an Aqueduct optional claimer Jan. 30.
Apprentice jockey Jose Ortiz won the first three races and brother Irad Ortiz Jr. took races 4 through 7 to give them a sweep of the first seven races Jan. 20 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
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