Coragil Cat Springs Hanshin Cup Surprise

Coragil Cat Springs Hanshin Cup Surprise
Photo: Four-Footed Fotos
Coragil Cat powers home in the Hanshin Cup.
Coragil Cat burst to the lead mid-stretch and drew off to win the $100,000 Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) by three lengths at odds of 11-1 in his graded debut May 24 on Arlington Park's Polytrack. 

Diego Sanchez rode the Greg Geier-trained son of Forest Wildcat, who covered the mile distance in 1:34.86. Jim Tafel's homebred colt served notice that he was sitting on a big race after establishing Arlington Park's Polytrack record for a mile, 1:33.55, in his last start, the Timeless Native Stakes May 3.

The Hanshin Cup was the third straight win for the 4-year-old colt, who began his winning streak in an allowance race at Fair Grounds in March. Coragil Cat was winless in 12 starts during the 2007 campaign.

Overall, his record stands at four wins from 22 starts. The $58,200 winner’s share pushed his earnings to $170,075.

“He’s trained excellently since his last race so we decided to run and give him a chance here,” Geier said. “He turned it around here a bit last year with some seconds and thirds. He really got good the last month (of the meet) at the Fair Grounds and it continued on up here.”

“I had a lot of confidence the last time I rode him (in the Timeless Native) and more confidence today,” added Sanchez. “He’s a slow horse in the mornings, and he’s a different horse in the afternoon. They were going very fast up front, so I waited. My horse started to run by himself, so I let him go ahead.”

Morada Key, ridden by Larry Sterling Jr., finished best of the rest to be second in the eight-horse field, two lengths ahead of Steve’s Double, who ran third under Ramsey Zimmerman. 

Defending Hanshin Cup champion Spotsgone set a very quick pace while leading through fractions of :22.96 and :45.56 before giving way approaching the quarter pole and fading to last. Lovango, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Rene Douglas led from there, completing six furlongs in 1:09.55. But he could not hold on in upper stretch and finished fourth.

“At the quarter pole, I thought I was a winner, but then he just fell apart,” said Douglas. “He just put his head down. I think he might have bled.”

Sent off as the sixth choice, Coragil Cat carried 115 pounds and returned $24.20, $10.40 and $5.60. Morada Key paid $28.60 and $12.40.  Steve’s Double was $6.20 to show. Lovango was followed by Throng, Fort Prado, Stonehouse, and Spotsgone.

Coragil Cat is out of the Metfield mare Coragil.

(Chart, Equibase)

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