Majestic Harbor surprises in Santa Anita’s Gold Cup


ARCADIA, Calif. -- Majestic Harbor won the $500,000 Gold Cup by 6 1/4 lengths in an upset at Santa Anita on Saturday, earning an automatic berth in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic this fall.

Ridden by Tyler Baze, Majestic Harbor ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.53 and paid $30.80, $10.60 and $5.40 at 14-1 odds.

Clubhouse Ride returned $5.60 and $4, while Imperative was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $4 to show.

Game On Dude, the 4-5 favorite trained by Bob Baffert, finished fourth. The gelding was seeking his third win in the Gold Cup, which was previously run at now-shuttered Betfair Hollywood Park.

Majestic Harbor received an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.

"It worked out perfectly for us pace-wise," trainer Sean McCarthy said. "The horse had a great week, a great 10 days. The t’s were crossed, the i’s were dotted, and you just hope that when you lead him over there, he fires and he fired."

The victory, worth $300,000, increased Majestic Harbor’s career earnings to $655,764, with six wins in 23 starts. McCarthy said the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 24 could be next for the 6-year-old horse. "To do this for Sean, it means a whole lot for the guy that stood by my side," said Baze, referring to the loyalty McCarthy has shown him through his struggles with substance abuse. "I knew we would win last week after I worked him. We said if we won today, we’d be going fishing on Sunday, so we might just be leaving tomorrow night"

Actress Sharon Stone presented the Gold Cup trophy.

In the $300,000 Triple Bend Stakes, Declassify won by a nose for Baffert.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Declassify ran seven furlongs in 1:22.03 and paid $6.60, $3.80 and $3.40.

"I thought I was beat at the top of the stretch," Garcia said. "My horse was trying everything, every step of the way. He never gave up."

Cyclometer returned $4.80 and $3.60, while Indexical was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $5 to show at 30-1 odds. Even-money favorite Sahara Sky finished last, 6 1/2 lengths behind the winner.

The victory, worth $180,000, increased Declassify’s career earnings to $261,240, with three wins in five starts.

In the $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes for fillies and mares, Parranda won by a neck after going three-wide turning for home.

Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Parranda ran one mile on the turf in 1:35.27 and paid $6.20, $3.60 and $2.80.

Kathleen Rose returned $5 and $4, while Moulin de Mougin was another two lengths back in third and paid $6.60 to show at 20-1 odds.

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Parranda’s career earnings to $668,655, with 10 wins in 24 starts.

In the $100,000 Senorita Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, 10-1 shot Sheza Smoke Show rallied from mid-pack to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Sheza Smoke Show ran one mile on the turf in 1:35.34 and paid $23.20, $10.40 and $6.

Famous Alice returned $4.60 and $3.40 as the 3-1 favorite, while Morning Fix and Trujillo was another half-length back in third and paid $4.60 to show.

The victory, worth $60,000, increased Sheza Smoke Show’s career earnings to $138,438, with three wins in six starts.

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Mother Goose Stakes

NEW YORK -- Untapable was once again untouchable, cruising to a 9 1/2-length victory Saturday in the $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.

She has crushed the competition in all four races this season, including the Kentucky Oaks, by a combined 31 1/4 lengths.

Some believe Untapable is the best 3-year-old of either gender. And she might get a chance to prove it.

Trainer Steve Asmussen listed the $1 million Haskell Invitational against the colts on July 27 at Monmouth Park as a possible next race.

"There is definitely the thought of running her against the boys," Asmussen said. "We’re aware that the Haskell is there, and the timing is excellent."

Asmussen will confer with owner Ron Winchell before committing to Untapable’s next start. An alternative to the Haskell would be facing fillies once again in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga on July 20.

John Velazquez was the rider for the Mother Goose, replacing Rosie Napravnik who is recuperating from a shoulder injury.

The only anxious moments for Untapable came right after the start when Princess Violet abruptly crossed into her path while taking the lead.

Velazquez had to snatch up his filly to prevent her running over that rival.

"After that, it was pretty easy," Velazquez said. "I put her into the clear, she settled really well, and it was a nice ride."

Untapable ran third as America pressed the pace set by Princess Violet. She made her move midway on the turn, effortlessly cruising alongside the leader.

And then she was gone. Velazquez turned Untapable loose at the top of the lane and she poured it on, widening her advantage with every graceful stride in the uncontested stroll to the finish wire.

Untapable, the 1-20 favorite, paid $2.10 and $2.10. Princess Violet was second, returning $3.70.

There was no show wagering.

America was third followed by House Rules and Aqua Regia.

The time was 1:41.48 for the 1 1/16 miles.

In the other stakes on the card, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott won the $200,000 New York for the second straight year, and third time overall.

His latest victory was a 1 1/4-length score by Riposte, the 6-5 favorite who paid $4.60 to win. Joel Rosario was aboard for the 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.71 in the race for fillies and mares on the turf. Tannery was second with Viva Rafaela third.

Jockey Joe Bravo and trainer Mark Hennig teamed to win the $100,000 Manila, also on the turf, with Cabo Cat. The 8-1 shot paid $18.40 to win.


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