Maiden Hudson Ridge Overcomes Trouble To Win Santa Anita’s Cinema

Despite a tumultuous start, longshot maiden Hudson Ridge ran like a short-priced favorite in Sunday’s $100,000 Cinema Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., as the son of Bob Baffert’s  2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah overhauled pacesetting Jimmy Irish turning for home and then outran recent stakes winner Sword Zorro to the wire, winning by 1 ¼ lengths.  Trained by Baffert and ridden by Abel Cedillo, Hudson Ridge got 1 1/8 miles on firm turf in 1:49.06.

With American Pharoah’s As Time Goes By victorious in Saturday’s Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes, the white haired training wonder rolls on, as Hudson Ridge thus provided Kentucky-based “Pharoah” with his second stakes winner of the weekend.

Breaking from post position three 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.

“I gotta give Abel’s agent, Tom Knust, the credit for this one,” said Baffert.  “I nominated for the race, but I wasn’t planning on running here and he said we should, that the horse had trouble last time and that he’d fit well with these horses.  The break, I don’t know what happened.  It was crazy.

“I didn’t know who caused it…After that, Abel did a great job, he didn’t panic, he got him in a smooth (rhythm)…Then down the backside the four (Hubris) was out of it and turning for home…He’s a horse that hadn’t really shown us that much, but it’s a big weekend for American Pharoah.”

Winless in four 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 while providing Baffert with his meet-leading 15th stakes victory.

“Last time, I should have won the race, but in the stretch, I got in a little trouble,” said Cedillo.  “My agent told Bob there was a stake coming up and to let me ride him back.  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.”

Owned by Double L Racing and Natalie Baffert, Hudson Ridge, who has run on turf in four out of his five starts, banked $60,000, increasing his earnings to $75,140.

Irish-bred Sword Zorro, the second choice in the wagering at 9-5, was free of any trouble at the break, as he 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 was no match for the winner.  Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Sword Zorro, who finished 2 ¼ 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 ¾ 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, back up readily as the field turn up the backside and was eased five furlongs from home.

Fractions on the race were 23.49, 48.07, 1:13.50 and 1:37.66.

The post Maiden Hudson Ridge Overcomes Trouble To Win Santa Anita’s Cinema appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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