Oakview Stable's Lanier cruised home with an easy open length win in the 2019 version of the $100,000 GIII Hanshin Cup at Arlington. This was the 25th year that Arlington ran an exchange race with the Japan Racing Association. A field of 10 older horses went to post for the Saturday feature.
Jockey Declan Cannon had a snug hold on Lanier while stalking the two early leaders through a 23.99 opening quarter and 47.56 half. Going into the turn, Cannon still hadn't asked Lanier who now had made his way up to within a neck of the leader. Turning for home Cannon asked the question and Lanier responded with authority. Richiesinthehouse to his inside gave him a brief fight, but passing the 1/8th pole Lanier had kicked into another gear. He finished up the one-turn mile in a swift 1:35.84 and won going away.
Trainer Brett Santangelo has started to make some noise as a 26-year-old trainer. He showed up in Chicago to take the first Graded Stakes race of the 2019 Arlington meet, although it was not always the plan after claiming Lanier.
“The Hanshin was never really on the radar when we got him. We claimed him because I was going to Turfway for the winter and he had a ton of good synthetic form over there last year. We thought he might be able to show up at a few of those Stakes over there at Turfway and he sure did, we had a great winter with him.”
Lanier had never finished off of the board on a synthetic surface coming into the Hanshin Cup, and was coming off of a solid second place finish in the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway.
Although a winner around two turns and one turn, his trainer Santangelo wasn't so sure he would like the one-turn mile,
“I wasn't sure he'd like the one turn mile, but he proved me wrong and it suited him great. I think this horse is so versatile, I wouldn't be afraid to run him five and a half furlongs and I wouldn't be afraid to run him over a mile on the Poly.”
“That's what makes it so fun, we have so many options with him, and we can go just about anywhere with him, I'm very confident in this horse wherever we place him.”
This was the ninth lifetime victory for Lanier who is now 1 for 1 over the Arlington Poly Track.
The seven-year-old son of Lewis Michael out of an Arch mare has now only been off of the board once in his 2019 campaign.
Lanier paid $13.20, $7.00, $4.60. Whats Up Dude ran second at 47-1 and returned $30.20, $10.00. Rounding out the top three was post time favorite Nun The Less who returned $3.40 to show.
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