12/06/2014 6:47PM

Luv Bandit stalks to victory in Lightning Jet Handicap

Four Footed Fotos
Luv Bandit (left) wins the Lightning Jet Handicap on Saturday at Hawthorne.

STICKNEY, Ill. – Last fall at Hawthorne, Luv Bandit, a two-turn horse for much of his career, finished second in the Milwaukee Avenue, a route race, but his connections tried the sprint approach this fall and were rewarded with a victory Saturday in the Lightning Jet Handicap at Hawthorne.

Luv Bandit, rallying steadily while wide, wore down another horse with a mainly two-turn history, Hope For Today, while the even-money favorite I Got It All, a 3-year-old facing older horses for the first time, checked in a one-paced third. The 9-year-old warrior River Bear finished well for fourth.

Luv Bandit, a 5-year-old Yonaguska gelding bred and owned by Judy Dorris, was trained to victory by Chris Dorris, who took over from his father, trainer Tom Dorris, earlier this year. He paid $21.60 to win and was timed in 1:10.82.

Ridden by Emanuel Cosme, Luv Bandit stalked the pace from post 8 while racing in the clear. In contention at the top of the stretch, Luv Bandit found his best stride in the final furlong and narrowly out-finished Hope for Today, a 93-1 shot who nearly pulled a huge upset. I Got It All threw his head a bit, perhaps from the kickback, while racing down the backstretch and was caught somewhat wide on the turn but had no major excuse.

Royal Posh upsets Powerless

Longshots ruled the $76,300 Powerless Handicap, in which Royal Posh scored an 18-1 upset over the 29-1 shot Summer Again. Win ‘Em All, who was 22-1, completed a $4,706 ($2 bet) trifecta, as the odds-on favorite Richies Sweetheart faded to fifth in the homestretch after setting the pace.

Santo Sanjur, who lost his apprentice allowance earlier this fall, won the first stakes of his career, settling Royal Posh in second as Richies Sweetheart crossed over from an outside post to set splits of 22.52 seconds and 46.60, with Summer Again in close attendance. At the quarter pole, the two longshots attacked Richies Sweetheart, who had no response, with Royal Posh ($38.60) slowly edging away from Summer Again in the final furlong to win by a half-length.

A 6-year-old mare by Posh bred and owned by Larry Owens and trained by Steve Manley, Royal Posh won for the 11th time in 45 starts.