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DEL MAR, CA – Favored at 9/5 in the field of a dozen, Arklow‘s class helped him prevail over a pair of quick-footed closers in Friday’s $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at Del Mar.
Arklow broke from post 5 under Joel Rosario as the 9/5 favorite and settled into a ground-saving trip stalking just behind Accclimate, who posted fractions of :24.51, :49.64, 1:14.55, and 1:38.78 for the opening mile.
Tipped off the rail heading into the far turn for the final time, Arklow slowly advanced while cornering and straightened for home eye-to-eye with the pacesetter.
Taking command at the top of the stretch, the Brad Cox trainee held sway under a drive to win the 1 1/2-mile firm turf route by a 1/2-length in 2:26.31, a new stakes record that missed the overall track mark by 0.12 seconds.
“He broke well and we got a good spot,” Rosario said. “I stepped on the brakes a little bit because I was comfortable where we were. I saved ground with him, then moved up a little bit outside. I could tell we were going slow so I felt okay being closer with him. He was running good. When we turned for home, I knew he was a fighter and I knew he’d be tough to beat. He finished strong. He’s a good horse.”
Laccario, like the winner invading from the eastern half of the country, was a 1/2-length between Arklow and Say the Word, who flew home late to take third in his first start for new trainer Phil D’Amato.
Acclimate, Red King, Oscar Dominguez, Ward ‘n Jerry, Another Mystery, Proud Pedro, North County Guy, Gregorian Chant, and Tartini completed the order of finish.
Fivestar Lynch and Marckie’s Water scratched as Also Eligibles.
Arklow’s win was his second from his last 3 starts including the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3), with his lone defeat in that span coming last out in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), where he finished sixth. The 6-year-old intact son of Arch improved his record to 31-8-7-2 with $2,666,116 earned for co-owners Donegal Racing, Joseph Bulger, and Peter Coneway.
“It kind of worked out the way we had drawn it up,” said Cox’s son and assistant, Blake. “Joel was able to get a real good stalking position and then finish strong. What’s next will be up to Jerry Crawford and Donegal Racing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) is on the radar.”
Arklow returned $5.80 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.80 to show. Laccario brought back $3.80 to place and $3 to show, while Say the Word paid $3.80 to show.
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