Turns out it doesn't matter what surface Student Council races on these days. The results are always good.
After winning the Grade I Pacific Classic on Polytrack as a 23-1 longshot in his last start, the 5-year-old showed his versatility on dirt by taking the 71st running of the Grade II $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup on Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course.
Starting from the outside post in a reduced field of five, the 3-2 second choice quickly established position along the rail just behind front-running Jonesboro.
At jockey Richard Migliore's urging, Student Council swung four-wide turning into the stretch and pulled away to a 1¼-lengths victory.
"I was just a good passenger," said Migliore, who also won the Robert. F. Carey Memorial Handicap aboard Classic Campaign. "He's a push-button horse; real professional and well prepared."
New trainer Steve Asmussen was equally impressed.
"He's always shown a lot of class," Asmussen said. "(Previous trainer) Vladamir (Cerin) did a great job of preparing him for this race, and Richie gave him a great ride.
"It set up in favor for him from the post draw to everything else."
Student Council returned $5.20, $2.80 and $2.10. Jonesboro paid $4.20 and $2.40, and A.P. Arrow returned $2.10.
In the $150,000 Carey Memorial, Migliore and Classic Campaign took the wide route while Crested and Raphael Bejarano chose the inside path.
In the end, it was Classic Campaign by a bob of the head.
"They told me he might pull up when he got to the lead and to wait as long as possible," Migliore said. "For a while I thought we might have waited too long, but we got there."
In the Indian Maid Handicap, Jennie R. made every pole a winning one and set a track record in the process. The Michele Boyce trainee ran the 1 1/16-miles on the turf in 1:40.46.
Kentucky Cup Classic: Hard Spun turned the tables on Street Sense, going right to the lead and then holding off the Kentucky Derby winner in a determined drive to win the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park.
Hard Spun broke from the inside post and was taken to the lead immediately by jockey Mario Pino, with Street Sense outside him just a half-length back.
They ran that way down the backstretch, until Hard Spun edged away by a length near the far turn and cruised to a 1¼-length win.
"Going in, we knew it was going to be a match race because it was only a two-horse race on paper," Pino said. "I got him to relax and I felt him crawling along early. At the three-eighths pole, he dropped his head down, going faster and faster to the wire."