11 - 1 Hardest Core Upsets at Arlington Million for First Graded Stakes Win

Scratched from the $400,000 American St. Leger to run at Arlington International Racecourse in the famous Arlington Million, Hardest Core overcame 11 - 1 odds to win his first graded stakes, as well as notch his first Grade I event victory. With jockey Eriluis Vaz in the saddle for Andrew Bentley Stables, Hardest Core took home the first place prize money running against some of the best turf horses from around the globe. The two horse Bentley family stable purchased the four-year-old gelding as a 30th birthday present for their son Andrew. Coming from behind and heading outside with long strides, Hardest Core passed both Magician and Side Glance for the victory. Magician is the 2012 Breeders' Cup Turf winner, and Side Glance is an impressive turf runner and Grade 1 winner in Australia.

Trainer Edward L. Graham Grabs Graded Stakes Win on First Try

The $1 million purse Arlington Million is one of the most anticipated turf races of the last half of the horse racing season. Oddly enough, this is the first time trainer Edward L. Graham has ever entered a horse in a graded stakes event. Graham is currently training 4 steeplechase horses and 2 for the flat track, Hardest Core and three-year-old filly Giant Shadow. The 43-year-old Graham had tabulated career earnings of just $634,675 before the race, but this victory in the Arlington Million means 5 of 6 wins for horses he has trained this year. The Hard Spun gelding was bought at a price tag of $210,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The Bentley family had originally intended to train Hardest Core as a steeplechase runner, and though the horse is a "pure, natural jumper," the family said he looked so good as a flat racer that the move just made sense.

Hardest Core Improves to 3 Wins in 3 Starts this Season

Before being purchased at Keeneland, Hardest Core was being trained by Kiaran McLaughlin for the Ghostzapper Racing stable. Graham said that the horse survived a high hernia operation, where 15 to 18 feet of intestines were removed. He said that is when he realized just how tough the horse was. The Arlington Million was the third start on the year for Hardest Core. He also won a June 28 allowance event of 1 1/16 miles, as well as the Cape Henlopen Stakes at 1 miles on Delaware grass. The impressive Arlington Million victory makes 3 out of 3 for the bargain priced race horse which is starting to turn heads. Magician entered the race as the 1.8 - 1 favorite to best the other 6 horses in the field. Side Glance led early on with Magician pushing, but it was Hardest Core providing all the magic on the day for a 1 length victory.

11 1 Hardest Core Pays $25 - $10.40 - $6

Hardest Core delivers a generous $25, $10.40, and $6, with Magician paying $4.20 and $3 and Side Glance offering $5 for the show finish. Real Solution was the winner of the 2013 Arlington Million, and finished last of the 7 horses. Up With the Birds, Finnegans Wake and Smoking Sun placed fourth, fifth and sixth. Graham said the decision to run in the shorter field was intentional, as he wanted to give Hardest Core room to run. Overall, the Kentucky bred four-year-old has 6 wins and 2 second places in 11 starts in his career. Side Glance also finished the Arlington Million race in third place last year. Graham said that he looked at the Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes and the St. Leger as well.

California Chrome Works Out, 10 - 1 Longshot Euro Charline Upsets

In other notable horse racing action, this year's Triple Crown candidate California Chrome worked out for the first time since winning the Belmont Stakes. Running 3 furlongs at Los Alamitos, the three-year-old chestnut spent the last two weeks jogging and galloping. That came after a five-week "freshening" at Harris Farms, where the horse was born. Trainer Art Sherman is looking toward the Los Alamitos Mile September 20 or the Awesome Again Stakes September 27 at Santa Anita. Another big upset occurred in the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes, where 10 - 1 longshot Euro Charline won her US debut. This was the first group or graded victory for the three-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie. Euro Charline paid generously at $23.60, $10.60 and $6.20.

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