In Hand Wins Stretch Duel in Greenwood Cup

(from Philadelphia Park report)
In Hand, a 4-year-old son of Belong To Me, made a strong rally to catch rival Host near the eighth pole and then won a battle to the wire for a neck victory in the 1 1/2-mile $100,000 Greenwood Cup Handicap Saturday at Philadelphia Park.

It was the second win in four starts this year for In Hand, who tallied his first career stakes victory, and pushed his lifetime earnings to just under $180,000.

Breaking last in the field of ten, In Hand remained reserved at the rear of the pack for the first three-quarters of a mile before jockey Rafael Mojica Jr. began to ask for run. Heading to the backstretch for the final time, In Hand was in the clear out in the five path and then made a long sustained run to get into contention approaching the top of the stretch. Host, to that point, had had a perfect trip. He sat on the rail tracking the two front runners for almost the entire way before swinging out at the top of the lane.

Just outside the eighth pole, it looked as if In Hand had the momentum and was going to run by Host, but Host dug in. The two fought through the final furlong, brushing a couple times before In Hand prevailed.

Owned jointly by G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and the Shining Armor Stable and trained by Philip Oliver, In Hand went off as a slight second choice at 2-1, and paid $6.80, $3.40, $.20. He covered the distance over a yielding turf in 2:33.1.

There were really no excuses for Host. Off at 5-1, and given every chance to win, he finished second and paid $5 and $4. The slight 2-1 favorite was Monkey Puzzle, who rallied for third, but was no threat to the top two.

(Chart, Equibase)