04/29/2016 11:54PM

Cashel Rock wins Golden Circle Stakes


Cashel Rock won his third straight race and first stakes, rallying past the pacesetting Victory Arch and Pistone Steel in the final furlong of the $65,000 Golden Circle on Friday night at Prairie Meadows.

Ridden to victory by Santo Sanjur for trainer Doug Matthews and owner-breeder Tom Lauritsen, Cashel Rock finished a half-length in front of Victory Arch while always looking like a winner under Chicago-based Sanjur. Away slightly slowly from the rail, Cashel Rock saved ground stalking Victory Arch’s pace of 22.39 and 45.56 seconds before being tipped three or four paths wide to take aim on the front-runners. Cashel Rock responded willingly and was going away at the end, his superiority probably greater than the raw win margin.

Cashel Rock is a son of Cashel Castle who already has stayed busy throughout his career. The Golden Circle marked the fifth win from 11 starts for the 3-year-old, who ran well on Polytrack and turf last year but has found a home in dirt sprints this season at Fair Grounds, Hawthorne, and now Prairie Meadows.

The winning time for the six furlongs on a fast track was 1:10.24, and Cashel Rock paid just $3.60 to win. Victory Arch had a nose on Pistone Steel, followed home by Cornfed and Sky Defence.