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ARCADIA, CA – Despite a tumultuous start, longshot maiden Hudson Ridge ran like a short-priced favorite in Sunday’s $100,000 Cinema Stakes at Santa Anita.
The son of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah overhauled pace-setting Jimmy Irish turning for home and then outran recent stakes winner Sword Zorro to the wire, winning by 1 1/4 lengths while getting 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:49.06.
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Breaking from post position 3 in a field of five sophomores, Jimmy Irish, with Victor Espinoza up, appeared to bobble shortly after the break and then veered sharply outward, slamming favored Hubris to his immediate outside, who then swerved outward into the path of Hudson Ridge and jockey Abel Cedillo.
Irish-bred Sword Zorro, the second choice in the wagering at 9/5, was free of any trouble at the break and was positioned inside of the erratic Jimmy Irish. From there, he fell into what appeared to be a perfect trip as he loomed three-wide and full of run turning for home, but he was no match for the winner.
Winless in 4 starts and a troubled second versus maidens going a flat mile on turf here May 1, Hudson Ridge, who is out of the Galileo mare Shell House, was off at 5/1 and paid $13.60, $6.20, and $3.20.
“Last time, I should have won the race, but in the stretch, I got in a little trouble,” said Cedillo. “I think (the start) affected my horse a little because that took me a little wide, but thank God I put him in a perfect position. I just followed the speed (Jimmy Irish), and in the stretch, I had a lot of horse.”
Hudson Ridge, who has run on turf in 4 out of his 5 starts, banked $60,000, increasing his earnings to $75,140.
Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Sword Zorro, who finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Airman, paid $3.60 and $2.40.
Airman, who broke from the rail with Juan Hernandez, was off at 4/1 and paid $2.60 to show while a tiring Jimmy Irish finished fourth, 2 3/4 lengths in arears.
Hubris, the 8/5 favorite with Flavien Prat, was slammed hard at the break and although he was second into the first turn, backed up readily as the field turn up the backside and was eased 5 furlongs from home.
Fractions on the race were 23.49, 48.07, 1:13.50 and 1:37.66.
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