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Arthur's Hope Springs 14-1 Upset in Laurel Feature Saturday
Gunnison Reels in Outofthepark to Capture Co-Feature on Turf
Rainbow 6 Carryover for Return of Live Racing Thursday, July 30
LAUREL, MD – Raul DelValle’s Arthur’s Hope was already a stakes winner with 12 career victories on his resume, but the 6-year-old broke new ground Saturday with his first career triumph over the track he calls home.
Ridden by Jorge Ruiz for trainer Marco Salazar, Arthur’s Hope ($30.60) led from the outset and never yielded, turning back a stakes-quality field of at Laurel Park that included multiple stakes winners Laki, Cordmaker and Clubman and Grade 3 winner No Dozing.
The winning time in the open seven-furlong allowance for 3-year-olds and up was a sharp 1:21.69 over a fast main track.
“He’s a nice horse,” Salazar said. “He’s a horse that likes to be on the lead. He’s a fighter. He doesn’t let horses go by him that easy.”
None got by Arthur’s Hope Saturday, hustled to the front by Ruiz and cruising through a quarter-mile in 23.07 seconds and a half in 45.71. Laki settled close to the pace along the rail while Cordmaker, trained by Rodney Jenkins, was between horses with Factor It In to his outside. Laki ranged up to challenge after six furlongs in 1:09.36 and the top two straightened for home as the main combatants, with Arthur’s Hope having enough cushion to withstand Laki’s furious late charge.
Threes Over Deuces closed late to be third, followed by Clubman, Cordmaker, No Dozing, Onemoregreattime and Factor It In.
Arthur’s Hope, front-running winner of the Say Florida Sandy Stakes Jan. 11 at Aqueduct, was bred in New York but is based with Salazar in Maryland. He had raced just twice previously at Laurel but not since finishing seventh in the 2018 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3).
“He’s been training here at Laurel for 2 ½ years but because he’s a New York-bred, he doesn’t have many conditions. But this was an open condition and it was like a stakes race,” Salazar said. “That Laki is a monster. Laki is a very nice horse. Mr. Jenkins’ horse, Cordmaker, is a very nice horse. You see the time, they ran in 1:21. He’ll stay here with me and we’ll see what’s coming up. I’m hoping to stay here.”
In Saturday’s co-feature, Gunpowder Farms and Hinkle Farms’ Gunnison ($17) chased down Outofthepark nearing the wire and edged clear for a three-quarter-length victory in Race 3, a third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles on the Fort Marcy turf course, finishing up in 1:40.06 over a surface rated good. It was the first win since the 2018 Tale of the Cat Stakes for the 5-year-old son of Bernardini, a span of nine starts, while ending 6-5 favorite Onemoregreattime’s two-race win streak.
Notes: Jockey Feargal Lynch missed his second straight day with body soreness after being unseated from his mount in Thursday’s third race. He is named in five of nine races when live racing returns to Laurel Thursday, July 30 … Horacio Karamanos swept the early daily double, riding Up Against It ($32.60) to victory in Race 1 and Bambino ($3.40) in Race 2, completing a hat trick on Smart Step ($4.20) in Race 9 … Julian Pimentel doubled aboard Gunnison ($17) in Race 3 and Splashertown ($3.80) in Race 5 … The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved Saturday, growing the carryover jackpot to $3,335.02 for Thursday, July 30. Tickets with five of six winners were each worth $170.12.