09/06/2009 11:00PM

Gleam of Hope gives Lanerie third Cradle win


CINCINNATI - Tony Reinstedler was watching the horses warm up for the Cradle Stakes. "I'm at River Downs on Labor Day," he said. "Couldn't be doing much better."

If only he had known how much better. Reinstedler, the trainer of Gleam of Hope, was soon in the winner's circle congratulating jockey Corey Lanerie for yet another victory in the $200,000 Cradle Stakes, the signature race at River and the closing-day feature at the 2009 meet.

Getting what he called "a golden trip," Lanerie guided Gleam of Hope to a 2 1/4-length score, giving the Louisiana-born jockey his third win in as many tries in the Cradle. He also won in 2005 with Laity and 2006 with Passport. Moreover, Lanerie was here Saturday to win the $100,000 Bassinet Stakes on All About Anna.

"We're going to build Corey his own room here," joked Jack Hanessian, River's general manager.

Gleam of Hope, bred and owned by Dr. and Mrs. A.C. Asbury, paid $6.60 as second choice after finishing 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.80 over a main track that had dried out to good. After lagging back early, but able to save ground on both turns, Lanerie said he "meant to swing out for the drive, but I saw the rail open up, so I just kept him going down there."

Guys Reward, a 19-1 shot, finished second, a neck before fast-closing Harrods Creek in a field of nine 2-year-olds.

Marathon Moon was fourth, giving Churchill Downs-based horses a sweep of the top four spots.

River management announced some 90 minutes before the Cradle that it was being taken off the turf and switched to the main track because of "uneven and potentially unsafe" conditions following heavy overnight rain. All other turf

races had been transferred to the main track prior to the start of the 11-race card.

As a result of the switch, Fantastico Roberto was scratched with 17 minutes to post. At the time, he was the 9-5 favorite.

Strike the Tiger, co-owned and trained by Wesley Ward, wound up the 3-2 favorite. Previously unbeaten in three starts, Strike the Tiger made headlines in June when he became the first American-trained horse to win a stakes at the Royal Ascot meet in England. But Strike the Tiger, making his first start beyond 5 1/2 furlongs, was dull throughout, tracking a trio of leaders down the backstretch and then beating a steady fade leaving the quarter pole. He finished seventh.

For Gleam of Hope, a chestnut colt by City Zip, the win was his third in a row after he was well-beaten in his June debut at Churchill. His previous triumphs came in a dirt sprint versus maidens at Ellis Park, then in the Cradle prep over the River turf. Reinstedler said he did not know yet where the colt would race next.

The Cradle had been run its first 30 years on dirt before being switched to the turf in 2007.

The River meet ended with Billy Hays the leading owner, Joe Woodard the leading trainer, and Perry Ouzts the leading jockey.