Stickney, IL (SportsNetwork.com) – Red Rifle, ridden by Florent Geroux, went
wire to wire versus 10 other distance runners to capture Saturday’s $250,000
Hawthorne Gold Cup at Hawthorne.Race Course.
Saddled by Todd Pletcher, Red Rifle had the lead as the field went under the
wire for the first time in the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup. He was stalked by Midnight
Aria, Abraham and 70-1 longshot Hattaash.
Red Rifle, sent off at 6-1, controlled the pace throughout the 1 1/4 miles and
registered a 2 1/2-length win over a late running Mister Marti Gras, last
year’s runner-up as well. Finishing third was 22-1 longshot Call Me George
with 3-1 co-favorite Effinex in fourth.
The time for the Gold Cup was 2:03.24 on a fast track.
Red Rifle, owned by Twin Creeks Racing, added $150,000 to his bankroll. The
4-year-old chestnut gelding has won five of 13 career starts for $412,520.
Red Rifle began 2014 with a second in an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on
Jan. 17 and came back to capture the Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston on March
The 4-year-old finished ninth in Keeneland’s Ben Ali and fourth in the
Westchester at Belmont Park. Moving to the turf, Red Rifle ran second in a
pair of allowance races at Belmont and Saratoga, and won the Yankee Affair at
Belmont on Sept. 6 before running second in the Sycamore at Keeneland on Oct.
Red Rifle paid $14.80, $7.60 and $4.80. Mister Marti Gras returned $5.60 and
$3.80, and Call Me George paid $10.20 to show.