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The Racing Dudes react to There Goes Harvard winning the 2022 Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita Park in upset fashion. JOIN the replay watch-along to get the Racing Dudes’ INSTANT reactions, then give YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
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The track press release:
Three-time Eclipse Award winning jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., cast in the role of a hired gun, orchestrated a brilliant one length victory by longshot There Goes Harvard in the 84th running of the Grade I, $400,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Monday at Santa Anita. Trained by Michael McCarthy and owned by his breeder, Cannon Thoroughbreds, LLC, There Goes Harvard got a mile and one quarter in 2:02.66.
With Defunded and Stilleto Boy dueling for the early lead in the run by the Grandstand the first time, Defunded showed the way by a half length with seven furlongs to run while There Goes Harvard tracked in fourth at the rail, about four lengths off the lead with favored Royal Ship just in front of him to his outside.
There Goes Harvard continued to save ground while Defunded gained the advantage over Stilleto Boy mid-way around the far turn. At the top of the lane, Defunded opened up by a length and a half, with Stiletto Boy laboring and There Goes Harvard on the move with Royal Ship all-out to his outside. Leaving the furlong marker, the only horse with a chance of catching Defunded was There Goes Harvard and he did just that with less than a sixteenth of a mile to run.
“I was pretty excited, when I saw him stick his head in front coming to the three sixteenths pole, I got a little emotional but things just worked out properly,” said McCarthy, who notched his first Gold Cup win, as did Ortiz. “Small field, you have to take a shot. The horse is doing well and sometimes you just have to take a chance.
“I just can’t thank Irad enough here. Every body involved, my grooms, my guys, everyone in barn 59, big day. The way things are going lately, it’s nice to get a win anywhere, but yes these are the kinds of races you get up for in the morning. You hope you are lucky enough to participate in, let alone win.”
A second conditioned allowance winner going one mile on turf here May 14, There Goes Harvard, in his first graded stakes appearance, was off at 8-1 in a field of five 3-year-olds and up and paid $19.60, $7.40 and $4.20.
“I had a perfect trip,” said Ortiz, who shipped in for the Memorial Day card from his Belmont Park base. “My horse was fighting a little bit with me going into the first turn, they went a little fast. I tried to let him relax, settle a little bit and he did come back to me on the backside. That was the key, after that, I was just biding my time and kicked him out down the stretch and he responded really well.”
A 4-year-old colt by Will Take Charge, There Goes Harvard, who won a first condition allowance on dirt two starts back on April 17, thus notched his third win in a row and improved his overall mark to 12-4-5-2. With the winner’s share of $240,000, he increased his earnings to $455,090.
In a massive effort, Defunded, ridden by Abel Cedillo, finished 3 ¼ lengths in front of Royal Ship and paid $6.60 and $4.00 while off at 5-1.
Brazilian-bred Royal Ship, second in last year’s Gold Cup, flattened out through the drive to finish three quarters of a length in front of Stilleto Boy. Off at even money with Mike Smith, Royal Ship paid $2.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.76, 46.13, 1:10.99, 1:35.85.
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