Hudson Landing needed every inch of the Golden Gate Fields homestretch to nose out a determined Control Seeker in the $100,000 All American Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 23 (VIDEO).
Ridden by Frank Alvarado, Hudson Landing got up at the wire to post his fifth lifetime win over Golden Gate's Tapeta main track from 10 starts. Chappell Alpine Farms owns the 5-year-old Maria's Mon gelding trained by Blaine Wright.
Hudson Landing ran the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:45.31 to nip Control Seeker, with Fast Track third. Even-money choice Gladding, making his first start since July 1, set the pace over Control Seeker before coming under heavy pressure in upper stretch and fading to finish last in the field of six.
"It was an exciting race," said Alvarado. "I started riding my horse on the far turn and this horse does not give up. He kept digging and we got the bob."
After soft fractions of :24.87, :49.87, and 1:14.56, Control Seeker, ridden by Francisco Duran, took over in the stretch and just failed to reach the wire in time. Hudson Landing, three wide on the outside, gradually reached even terms with Control Seeker in deep stretch. They exchanged head bobs in the last couple of jumps with Hudson Landing getting the last one.
Duran dropped his whipin mid-stretch.
"I never do that and I do it in this (expletive) race," a frustrated Duran said after the race. "My horse did his best. I couldn't ask for anything more from him. I can't believe I did it in this race of all races."
It was three-quarters of a length back to 42-1 shot Fast Track, who rallied from last at mid-stretch to finish third by a neck over Positive Response. Duke of Doom and Gladding trailed.
Bred in Kentucky by Fred M. Allen, Hudson Landing is out of the multiple stakes-placed mare Morning Star, by Shotiche.
Hudson Landing was coming off a third-place finish in a one-mile allowance race on turf Oct. 28 won by Positive Response. He earned his first win since taking the Mt. Ranier Stakes on dirt at Emerald Downs July 22. The versatile chestnut gelding won the San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT) on the turf at Golden Gate in April, upsetting Jeranimo.
The victory was the 12th in 35 lifetime starts for Hudson Landing, who also has six seconds and four thirds. He has earned $477,388.
Under equal weights of 123 pounds, Hudson Landing paid $9.20, $4.80, and $3.80 as the third choice. Control Seeker returned $7 and $6 while completing a $48.40 exacta. The show price on Fast Track was $8.20.
Slim Pickins scratched.