Hard Spun turned the tables on Street Sense, going right to the lead and then holding off the Kentucky Derby winner in a determined drive to win the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic yesterday at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.
Hard Spun broke from the inside post and was taken to the lead immediately by jockey Mario Pino, with Street Sense just a half-length on his outside. They ran that way down the backstretch, until Hard Spun edged away by a length near the far turn.
"I think our horse contained himself as long as he could," Hard Spun trainer Larry Jones said. "We knew that with the pace scenario, we wanted to make Street Sense chase us."
Hard Spun eased away in deep stretch, coming under the wire 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Street Sense. Stream Cat was another 3 1/4 lengths back, and Cat Shaker was a distant fourth.
"We were right there and we got beat," Street Sense trainer Carl Nafzger said. "We came up here to win the race. Let's not make excuses."
Hard Spun covered the 1 1/8 miles over Polytrack in 1:48.48 and paid $3.80 and $2.10. Street Sense returned $2.10 to place.
Both colts are likely headed to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
Belmont - Lahudood found an opening in the lane and squeezed through for the upset in the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational for fillies and mares.
Lahudood had the rail in the 1 1/4-mile race on turf and jockey Alan Garcia never vacated the fence. He sent the 4-year-old through an inside gap for a three-quarter-length victory over Rosinka with 4-5 favorite Wait a While third.
Lahudood, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, paid $44.40, $16.40, and $8.20. Rosinka returned $14.20 and $7.10.
Also on the card, Trippi's Storm won the $250,000 Kelso Handicap and The Leopard took the $81,000 Pilgrim Stakes.
Santa Anita - Tiago took on older horses for the first time and edged Awesome Gem by a nose to win the $500,000 Goodwood Stakes. Tiago and Awesome Gem hooked up for a thrilling stretch duel that ended with jockey Mike Smith winning his second Grade 1 race of the day. Smith also rode Cry and Catch Me to victory in the $250,000 Oak Leaf Stakes.
Nashoba's Key improved to 7-0 in her career with a come-from-behind victory over Citronnade in the $400,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes.
Hawthorne - Student Council pulled away for a 1 1/4-length victory over Jonesboro in the $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap in Cicero, Ill.