Workin for Hops pulls away in the Hanshin Cup.

Workin for Hops pulls away in the Hanshin Cup.

Four Footed Fotos

Workin for Hops Brews Up Hanshin Cup Win

Favorite shakes loose in upper stretch en route to a three-length win at Arlington.

Slight choice Workin for Hops shook free from the leaders in upper stretch and drew away to a three-length victory in the $100,000 Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park May 21 (VIDEO).

James Graham piloted the 4-year-old City Zip gelding to victory for owner Estrorace and trainer Mike Stidham. Workin for Hops, sent off at odds of 2-1, completed the one-mile test on Arlington's Polytrack in a solid 1:34.55.

Workin for Hops won for the first time in four starts in 2011 and snapped a five-race losing streak since taking the American Derby (gr. IIT) on turf at Arlington last summer. Most of his races have been on turf.

“He loved the track,” said Graham, who picked up his third of four winners on the day. “He got over it great. I had a lot of horse. He won so easy today that it wasn’t even funny. At the half-mile pole I said, ‘They ain’t gonna beat him today.’ ”

Previously unbeaten Pacific Ocean, the second choice ridden by Junior Alvarado, ran second, edging Havelock and Jermaine Bridgmohan by a half length.

Workin for Hops chased in fifth as part of the second group as Cool Bullet, pressed hard on the outside by South African gelding Pointing North, led through a swift half-mile (:22.93, :45.43). Pointing North put his head in front at the six-furlong point in 1:09.62 as Workin for Hops drew to even terms midway on the turn.

The leaders were five abreast in upper stretch before Workin for Hops, racing three wide, exerted his control. He led by 1 1/2 lengths at mid-stretch and pulled away under encouragement from Graham.

Amy Bondon and Tom McNally bred Workn for Hops in Kentucky. The chestnut is out of Citi Pearl, by Citidancer.

Workin for Hops, who also won the Arlington Classic on grass last year, improved his career mark to 6-4-1 in 14 starts with earnings of $584,776.

He carried 116 pounds and paid $6.40, $3.40, and $2.80. Pacific Ocean, losing for the first time in four starts in his stakes debut for trainer Wayne Catalano, returned $3.60 and $3.20 and rounded out a $20.20 exacta. Havelock was $6.80 to show.

Country Flavor was 2 3/4 lengths farther back in fourth, followed by Pointing North, Cool Bullet, Pulsion, Akhmatova, and Quite a Handful.