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Hard Spun - Kentucky Derby Contender

Hard Spun - Fox Hill Farm's newest horseracing star.


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Hard Spun Kentucky Derby Contender Hat



Pedigree: Danzig - Turkish Tryst (Turkoman)

Owner: Rick Porter (Fox Hill Farm)

Trainer: Larry Jones

Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm also owns Round Pond and Rockport Harbor.

Stallion Farm: Darley   Stud Fee: $40,000 Stands & Nurses


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$15.95 ON SALE


Odds-on choice Hard Spun, a colt who has shown up for all the major dances for trainer Larry Jones this season, earned his elusive first grade I victory when he turned back a serious challenge from First Defence in the $250,000 King's Bishop (gr. I) (VIDEO) for 3-year-olds at Saratoga Aug. 25.
Hard Spun, a son of Danzig, is headed for a stud career at Darley at the end of the year, so the grade I was a big step for the Fox Hill Farm runner. The Pennsylvania-bred ended a four-race losing streak, cutting back to seven furlongs in the King's Bishop for Jones and winning for the first time since taking the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) on the Turfway Park Polytrack in March.

Ridden by Mario Pino, Hard Spun was forwardly placed in second behind the pacesetter Spin Master, who clicked off hot fractions of :21 4/5 and :44 1/5. Rounding the turn, Hard Spun poked his head in front. Hard Spun held the lead in upper stretch but could not shake loose of First Defence and Javier Castellano, who followed Hard Spun into the lane and soon drew even. First Defence appeared to get the lead at the eighth pole, but under mild left-handed urging from Pino, Hard Spun came back and drew off to win by more than a length. The winning time for the seven panels was 1:22 1/5.

California invader E Z Warrior, the Bob Baffert trainee ridden by David Flores, closed to finish a distant third, while second-choice Teuflesberg settled for a non-threatening fourth.

Hard Spun, out of Turkoman mare Turkish Tryst, was competitive in all three Triple Crown races, finishing second in the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum (!) Brands (gr. I), third in the Preakness (gr. I) and fourth in the Belmont (gr. I).

Regular rider Pino, who lost the mount in the Belmont after a questioned ride in the Preakness, was back aboard when Hard Spun returned from a two-month layoff to finish second behind Any Given Saturday in the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Monmouth Park earlier this month.

Jones says the ultimate goal is the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Monmouth Oct. 27.

Hard Spun has won both his starts at seven furlongs and is undefeated in four lifetime sprints. Overall, the bay is 6-2-1 in 11 starts with earnings of $1,393,470.