Melatonin wins Gold Cup by 1 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Melatonin won the $500,000 Gold Cup by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Melatonin ran 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.79 and paid $5.60, $4 and $3 as the 9-5 favorite. The 5-year-old gelding earned an automatic berth into the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic at the track this fall.

Win the Space rallied three-wide outside of Melatonin turning for home and was head-to-head with the eventual winner inside the furlong pole. Win the Space returned $24.80 and $9.40 at 24-1 odds.

Defending champion Hard Aces was another three-quarters of a length back in third and paid $5 to show. Hoppertunity finished fourth.

Trained by David Hofmans, Melatonin led all the way to win the Santa Anita Handicap on March 12 at 16-1 odds.

The victory, worth $300,000, increased Melatonin's career earnings to $1,218,552, with five wins in 13 starts. The gelding was limited to earnings of just $132,552 before this year because of a rare neurological disorder.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.