ARCADIA, CALIF. >> Melatonin won the $500,000 Gold Cup by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Melatonin ran 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.79 and paid $5.60, $4 and $3 as the 9-5 favorite. The 5-year-old gelding earned an automatic berth into the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic at the track this fall.

Win the Space rallied three-wide outside of Melatonin turning for home and was head-to-head with the eventual winner inside the furlong pole. Win the Space returned $24.80 and $9.40 at 24-1 odds.

Defending champion Hard Aces was another three-quarters of a length back in third and paid $5 to show. Hoppertunity finished fourth.

Trained by David Hofmans, Melatonin led all the way to win the Santa Anita Handicap on March 12 at 16-1 odds.

The victory, worth $300,000, increased Melatonin's career earnings to $1,218,552, with five wins in 13 starts. The gelding was limited to earnings of just $132,552 before this year because of a rare neurological disorder.

Melatonin won the $500,000 Gold Cup by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Melatonin ran 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.79 and paid $5.60, $4 and $3 as the 9-5 favorite. The 5-year-old gelding earned an automatic berth into the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic at the track this fall.

Win the Space rallied three-wide outside of Melatonin turning for home and was head-to-head with the eventual winner inside the furlong pole. Win the Space returned $24.80 and $9.40 at 24-1 odds.


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Defending champion Hard Aces was another three-quarters of a length back in third and paid $5 to show. Hoppertunity finished fourth.

Trained by David Hofmans, Melatonin led all the way to win the Santa Anita Handicap on March 12 at 16-1 odds.

"He's a jockey's dream," Talamo said. "He just does his thing. He does not have to go to the lead. As you saw, he laid second comfortably. What impressed me the most about him today was when Win the Space came to him at the eighth pole, he just battled back. He gives you everything he's got."

The victory, worth $300,000, increased Melatonin's career earnings to $1,218,552, with five wins in 13 starts. The gelding was limited to earnings of just $132,552 before this year because of a rare neurological disorder.

"I think we gave him enough time to get rid of that awful thing in his body," Hofmans said. "I think that held him back and since we got rid of that, he's developed into such a nice horse."

In the $300,000 Triple Bend Stakes, Lord Nelson defeated Subtle Indian by a half-length under Rafael Bejarano.

Lord Nelson ran seven furlongs in 1:21.04 and paid $6.20, $3.80 and $2.60 as the 2-1 second choice in the wagering.

Subtle Indian returned $4.60 and $3.40, while Kobe's Back was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $2.60 to show.

It was the fifth career victory in the Grade 1 race for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

"That was pretty game," he said. "I didn't think he was going to get there. It was pretty exciting to watch, more exciting to win."

The victory, worth $180,000, increased Lord Nelson's career earnings to $598,271, with five wins in 11 starts.