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Super Frolic wins by a head on the outside over Lord of the Game in the 2005 Hawthorne Gold Cup.
The 69th running of the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup was contested at Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago on Saturday. A field of ten went to post in this 1 1/4 mile event on a sloppy main track looking for the winner's share of the $750,000 purse and a possible trip to the Breeders' Cup Classic. As expected, Washington Park Handicap winner and Pacific Classic runner-up Perfect Drift was the 4-5 favorite, returning after a second place finish in this event last year. Also in the field were 9-2 second choice Super Frolic, fifth in the Pacific Classic last out, and 6-1 third choice Desert Boom, winner of the Claiming Crown Jewel at Canterbury and the Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate.
Under rainy conditions, Desert Boom and 12-1 shot Lord of the Game went to the front to contest the pace, with Desert Boom getting the half in 48.05, six furlongs in 1:12.35, and a mile in 1:37.67 racing out in the two path avoiding the deeper part of the track. Jockey Mark Guidry kept the favorite out of trouble in mid-pack early, taking a wide trip throughout. Turning for home, jockey Victor Espinoza and Super Frolic, who had stalked the early pace in third taking a ground-saving trip, switched to the outside and made a run at the leaders. He and Lord of the Game battled it out through the final furlong but Super Frolic prevailed by a head, in a time of 2:04.66 over the sloppy track. It was 2 1/2 lengths back to Desert Boom in third, and another 3 1/4 back to favored Perfect Drift in fourth. The favorite simply flattened out through the lane, showing a dislike for the mud.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Super Frolic Espinoza 10.60 6.60 5.60 1 Lord of the Game Razo 14.00 8.80 4 Desert Boom Gonzalez 6.20 $2 Exacta (3-1) paid 87.80 $2 Trifecta (3-1-4) paid 370.80 $1 Superfecta (3-1-4-5) paid 1285.20 Winning Time: 2:04.66Results Chart from DRF
Winning trainer Vladimir Cerin said, "We came here because we secretly still had hopes for the Breeders' Cup. I hope we have enough points, after this race, to get invited. That's the plan if it works out. We thought we had a much better horse than the one who finished fifth in the Pacific Classic. I was concerned with the off track. I thought Desert Boom would have a big advantage since he has such good off-track form but I think the distance really helped us. We got a perfect trip. Victor had him exactly where I thought he should be. This horse just goes whenever you want him to. I got him only 18 days before the Pacific Classic so I still don't have him totally figured out. He's more than paid back his purchase price and he also made enough to pay for a nice filly that we bought yesterday"
Winning jockey Victor Espinoza said, "This was my first time riding him, but I went back and watched his race in the Pacific Classic and he was as game as they come. I wasn't sure if the rain and wet track was going to help us, but I guess it worked out perfectly. We just sat close the whole way around and when it came time to run he picked it up. In the final 1/16th, he was challenged by (Lord of the Game) and neither gave in, but we were just a little better today."
Eusebio Razo Jr, aboard second place finisher Lord of the Game, said, "He broke good. He didn't see the other horse coming on the outside. When the other horse passed him he dug in and was coming back on him. I think if there was enough time he would have come back and gotten him." Trainer Tom Tomillo added, "He ran another game race, that's all I can ask of him. As for the Breeders' Cup, all I can say right now is we're going to see how he comes out of this race and we'll keep all of our options open."
Mark Guidry, aboard beaten favorite and fourth place finisher Perfect Drift, said, "I was sitting in a pretty good spot on the middle of the turn. I wouldn't have traded places with anybody. But, after that, it seemed like whenever I got busy and really riding him, trying to get a little more out of him, he started slipping and sliding. I don't want to blame the track condition but down the lane, he just ran kind of even. He wasn't picking up any horses."
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