Saving ground until the long stretch, when he rallied between rivals and took the lead with a three-wide bid, Arklow got to the finish line on top of a quartet of Mike Maker-trained rivals in the $746,500 Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Downs.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Arklow finished a half-length in front of Bigger Picture and completed 1 1/2 miles on good ground in 2:30.56. He paid $15.80.
“He’s a big horse, very long stride and very good mover. I always thought the longer the better for him,” Geroux said. “Brad did a great job bringing him to the race today in excellent shape and in very good form.”
“Sometimes he’s been a bit of a disappointment because we’ve always thought he has more in him. Today he was in against some very nice horses, Grade 1-winning horses and graded-stakes horses. And he beat them fairly and squarely.”
Bigger Picture led a 2-3-4-5 finish for meet-leading trainer Maker, finishing a neck in front of Soglio. Longshot Bronson finished fourth and 2017 Turf Cup winner Oscar Nominated was fifth in his title defense. Multiplier, Nessy, Manitoulin, Some in Tieme, All Right, Big Bend, and My Bairley completed the order of finish.
Owned by Donegal Racing, Joseph Bulger, and Peter Coneway, Arklow earned his first graded tally in the American Turf (G2) on the 2017 Kentucky Derby undercard. Unplaced in two remaining stakes appearances last season, he kicked off 2018 with an allowance win and a second in the Muniz Memorial (G2), both at Fair Grounds.
Fourth in the Old Forester Turf Classic (G1) and Stars and Stripes (G3) in his next two starts, Arklow entered this following a photo-finish score in the Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup at Ellis Park. His record now stands at 15-5-2-1, $853,382.
Bred in Kentucky by John Penn and Frank Penn, Arklow was a $160,000 Keeneland September. By Arch, he’s out of the Empire Maker mare Unbridled Empire, who reared this year’s American Turf winner Maraud.
Unbridled Empire is herself a a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Fourty Niners Son and Cindy’s Hero.