Del Mar Thoroughbred Club press release (Benoit photos)
DEL MAR, Calif. (Friday, Nov. 27, 2020) — The class of the field ran like it Friday at Del Mar as Arklow tracked close to the leaders in the 12-furlong Hollywood Turf Cup, then got the jump on his chief rivals turning for home and went on to an impressive half-length score in the $203,500, Grade 2 headliner.
The 6-year-old Arklow is one of three horses to win Kentucky Downs’ Grade 3 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup twice, this year while wearing blinkers for the first time in his career and in 2018. He was second in the 2019 Kentucky Turf Cup won by Zulu Alpha. Donegal Racing managing partner Jerry Crawford said the 2021 Kentucky Turf Cup is firmly on Arklow’s dance card.
The son of the deceased stallion Arch covered 1 1/2 miles over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course in 2:26.31, which established a stakes record and just missed the course record for the distance by .12 hundredths of a second.
Joel Rosario rode the veteran for the first time for trainer Brad Cox and put in a masterful bit on horsemanship on the long-winded bay.
"He broke well and we got a good spot,” Rosario said. “I stepped on the brakes a little bit because I was comfortable where we were. I saved ground with him, then moved up a little bit outside. I could tell we were going slow so I felt OK being closer with him. He was running good. When we turned for home, I knew he was a fighter and I knew he's be tough to beat. He finished strong. He's a good horse."
Arklow earned a first prize of $120,000 and now sports a sparkling racing record of 8-7-2 for $2,666,116 in earnings out of 31 starts. The horse races for the partnership of Donegal Racing, Joseph Bulger and the Estate of Peter Coneway.
"It kind of worked out the way we had drawn it up,” said Blake Cox, son of and assistant to Brad Cox. “Joel was able to get a real good stalking position and then finish strong. What's next will be up to Jerry Crawford and Donegal Racing, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Pegasus World Cup Turf is on the radar. "
Finishing second in the seventh local edition of the marathon was Manfred Ostermann's Laccario, who was a half-length ahead of Agave Racing Stable and Sam-Son Farm's Say the Word.
Arklow, who was the 19-10 favorite in the contest in the field of 12, paid $5.80, $3.40 and $2.80 across the board.