The Sept. 29 Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) will be a true test of the consistency of Student Council, who scored a stunning upset victory over champion Lava Man in the Aug. 19 Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Student Council has been criticized as becoming a "one-hit wonder," as he had never won a graded stakes before the Pacific Gold Cup. He set a track record in that race, going 1 1/4 miles in 2:07.29 over the track's new synthetic surface.
But the 5-year-old son of Kingmambo did prove his capabilities on dirt Jan. 27, when he captured the MAXXAM Gold Cup Handicap at Sam Houston Race Park, as well as hitting the board in two other graded stakes this year.
Owned by Ro Parra's Millennium Farms and trained by Vladimir Cerin, Student Council boasts a record of 6-3-3 from 21 starts and earnings of $852,731.
Also looking for their second graded victories are Jonesboro, winner of the Feb. 21 Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park, and A.P. Arrow, who took the March 31 Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Jonesboro, a son of Sefapiano, has won or placed in six stakes and will enter the Hawthorne Gold Cup off a Sept. 8 allowance optional claiming victory at Remington Park.
Owned by Richard Santulli and George Prussin's Jayeff "B" Stables, Jonesboro is trained by Randy Morse.
Among A.P. Arrow's numerous on-the-board efforts are a third in the 2006 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs and the Feb. 3 Donn Handicap (both gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.
Owned by the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust and trained by Eclipse award winner Todd Pletcher, A.P. Arrow will enter the Hawthorne Gold Cup off a two-month layoff. He most recently finished third in the July 28 Washington Park Handicap (gr. II) at Arlington Park.
Rounding out the field are Wayzata Bay, a multiple stakes victor at Prairie Meadows and Canterbury Park; other stakes winner Miami Sunrise; and allowance winner Extreme Supreme.
Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II), $500,000, Sept. 29, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/4 miles, 5:50 p.m. EDT
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. A.P. Arrow, 115, Rafael Bejarano
2. Miami Sunrise, 112, Florent Geroux
3. Jonesboro, 115, Christopher Emigh
4. Extreme Supreme, 112, Timothy Thornton
5. Wayzata Bay, 112, Carlos Montalvo
6. Student Council, 119, Richard Migliore