Contact : Jim Miller - (708)
For Immediate Release
Pool Play Posts Upset in Hawthorne Gold Cup
STICKNEY, IL --William S. Farish Jr.’s Pool Play, trained by Mark Casse,
was dismissed as the second longest shot on the board in Saturday’s Grade 2 Hawthorne
Gold Cup, despite being the only Grade 1 winner in the field. That didn’t deter
him, or rider Miguel Mena from going from last to first to grind out a
Grade 2, $500,000 Gold Cup saw the complexion of the race change early on the
morning of the race when probable pacesetter Nate’s Mineshaft was
scratched. That scratch led to some
uncertainty as to where the pace would come.
When the horses sprung from the gate, favored Alternation went to the
front, pushed along by Eldaafer through the opening
half mile. Into the turn, Cease joined
in on the action while Mister Marti Gras rallied along the inside.
Play trailed the field for most of the race and was still last at the quarter
pole but shifted out to the five path in the upper
stretch and surged to a narrow lead mid-stretch. Under Miguel Mena, Pool Play emerged ahead
inside the final sixteenth and managed to hold off Cease and Eldaafer at the wire. The win was the seventh in the career
of Pool Play from 31 races, and boosted his career earnings to $1,240,616. Cease held well for second, followed by Eldaafer, Mister Marti Gras, Fly Lexis Fly and
Play went the mile and a quarter in 2:06.36 on a track labeled fast.
Mena, the rider of Pool Play, was happy to see the winner back on dirt, “I won
the Stephen Foster the last time I rode him. I had confidence in him because I
knew he could handle the dirt. He loved the long stretch here. He just keeps
coming. He got a good trip even though the pace was slow. When we got to the
three-eighths pole, I was pretty excited. I was trying to stay away from Cease,
who was also coming late.”
Randi Melton, asst. trainer of Pool Play: "The
long stretch really plays to our favor, and Miguel knows the horse. He's about
as good as he can get right now."
Campbell rode the second-place finisher Cease, “We had a perfect trip. The
horse ran big, we just got beat. I was pretty much where I wanted to be the
whole race. He ran very well to the quarter pole, he just got beat. He gave me
everything he had, no regrets, no excuses.”
Pool Play paid
$34.00, $8.00, and $8.00. Cease returned $3.20 and $3.40. Eldaafer
brought back $9.20.
at Hawthorne takes place five days a week and concludes Sunday, December
30. Live racing will be conducted every
Wednesday-Sunday. First post daily is 2:10 PM.
Hawthorne Race Course is located in Stickney IL at 3501 S. Laramie
Ave. For information on live racing or
groups at Hawthorne Race Course, contact Hawthorne
at 708-780-3700 or visit Hawthorne
online at www.Hawthorneracecourse.com