Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Matrooh became the second Oaklawn Park winner in the last three years to capture the Grade 3 $100,000 Hanshin Cup Stakes, a one-mile event Saturday over Arlington Park's all-weather surface.
The victory represented the biggest career scores for jockey Santo Sanjur and co-owner/trainer Cipriano Contreras.
Contreras claimed Matrooh, an 8-year-old Distorted Humor gelding, for $25,000 out of a March 3 victory at Oaklawn. Switching to Sanjur, Matrooh was an April 6 allowance winner at Oaklawn in his first start for his new connections.
Saturday's 2 ½-length victory marked the third consecutive overall for Matrooh, who began his racing career in Europe.
Trace Creek won the $75,000 Arkansas Breeders' Stakes in 2015 at Oaklawn before capturing the Hanshin Cup the following year.
Matrooh, a Grade 3 winner in 2015 for trainer Chad Brown, has an 8-1-3 record from 23 lifetime starts and earnings of $477,029. He ran the mile in 1:36.43 and paid $19.60.
Sanjur rode six winners this year at Oaklawn, while Contreras had four victories at the meeting.
The Money Dance has been doing just that in his last two starts after the 3-year-old Jimmy Creed colt broke his maiden April 14 at Oaklawn and cleared his first allowance condition May 3 at Belmont Park.
Owned by Penny Lauer and trained by husband Mike, The Money Dance bankrolled $113,520 for the two victories, including $18,720 in bonus money.
The Money Dance earned an additional $4,860 through Oaklawn's "Lasix-free Bonus Program," which offers a 10 percent hike to the winner's share of the purse for horses who win without running on the anti-bleeder medication. He has made his last five starts this year without Lasix.
The colt received an additional $13,860 for his victory at Belmont because he had made his previous start at Oaklawn. Under the New York Racing Association's "Ship and Win" bonus program -- Aqueduct spring meet and Belmont spring/summer meet -- starters who made their last start at Oaklawn receive a "30 percent purse bonus applied to a horse's purse earnings" and a $1,500 shipping stipend. Stakes races aren't part of the program.
David Cohen, who won 37 races to finish third in his Oaklawn debut this year, rode The Money Dance in both victories. Cohen is again based in New York, where he was a fixture before injuries derailed his career several years ago.
M and M Racing -- Michael Sisk and wife Mickala -- is 3-for-3 at the Lone Star meeting after capturing its first career owner's title this year at Oaklawn with 21 victories, according to Equibase, racing's official data gathering organization. M and M's latest winner at Lone Star was Silver Moon Rising, a 2-year-old Texas-bred daughter of Silver City who won her career debut Saturday at 4 ½ furlongs.
Silver Moon Rising represents M and M's first horse purchased at public auction to win, Michael Sisk said, after buying the filly for $27,000 at the Texas Thoroughbred Association's 2-year-olds in training sale April 10.
M and M purchased a colt from the second crop of champion Shanghai Bobby for $180,000 at the 2018 Ocala Breeders' Sales March sale of 2-year-olds in training and spent $334,000 to acquire four more horses at the TTA sale, including the sale-topper, a Louisiana-bred filly by Bind, for $140,000.
Silver City, in his 3-year-old debut, won Oaklawn's $50,000 Dixieland Stakes in 2009.
Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner and champion Will Take Charge was represented by his first winner when 2-year-old Tijori won her career debut at 4 ½ furlongs Friday at Santa Anita. Before entering stud, Will Take Charge won Oaklawn's $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and Grade 2 $600,000 Rebel Stakes in 2013 en route to an Eclipse Award as the country's champion 3-year-old male and the Grade 2 $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap in 2014.
Oaklawn-raced Beautiful Shot and Zulfikhar finished second and third, respectively, in the Grade 3 $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes for 3-year-olds at 7 furlongs Saturday at Santa Anita Park.Sports on 05/16/2018
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