London Lane spoke for the locals Saturday night at Colonial Downs, roaring down the stretch to upset the $300,000 Colonial Turf Cup at better than 50-1 for owner/breeder Howard Bender and trainer Larry Murray.
Immediately behind the Laurel Park-based Maryland-bred came New York shippers Hyper and Swift Warrior, with big names Air Support and Atigun even farther back in the field. The upset happened thanks to a heady ride from Horacio Karamonos, who let London Lane drop back to seventh in the field of eight early. Still next to last turning for home, the son of Langfuhr spun wide off the turn and started passing horses. He collared fellow-closer Hyper late and scored by a widening three-quarters of a length. Swift Warrior stayed for third after battling for the lead. The winner paid $102.60 while collecting the first stakes win of his career. The $174,600 payday more than doubled his career earnings.
Roadhog, covered here last week, finished fifth after racing close to the pace set by Swift Warrior and Two Notch Road.
– Just as Fair Hill trainer Mike Trombetta feared, Todd Pletcher-trained horses swept the other two stakes at Colonial Downs.
RR Partners’ Hudson Steele lived up to his favoritism in winning the $75,000 Da Hoss at a mile, hanging on to deny Hoofit by a neck with Trombetta’s Change Of Command a tough-luck third. Javier Castellano rode the winner, who made his first start in almost a year after taking the Grade 2 Dixie in 2012.
A race later, Pletcher and Castellano teamed up to win the $100,000 Ned Evans All Along Stakes with Channel Lady. Owned by James Scatuorchio and Jake Pletcher, the 4-year-old daughter of English Channel beat longshot Idle Talk by a length with Clare Skies Ahead third in the Grade 3 stakes. Embarr finished fourth.
Channel Lady exited back-to-back Grade 2 starts after winning a Grade 3 at Gulfstream Park in February. She’s won half her 10 lifetime starts.
– At Belmont Park Saturday, Juddmonte Farm’s Close Hatches jumped back into the 3-year-old filly picture with a powerful win in the Grade 1 Mother Goose for trainer Bill Mott and jockey Joel Rosario.
Close Hatches ousted heavy favorite Dreaming Of Julia, while winning for the fourth time in her six-start career. The daughter of First Defence and the Storm Cat mare Rising Tornado opened her career with three consecutive wins this year, the finished a dull seventh in the Kentucky Oaks in May. She returned to finish second behind Midnight Lucky in the Acorn at Aqueduct May 27.
*Photo: Close Hatches coasts home in the Mother Goose. Tod Marks photo.