Kupuna much the best in $100,000 Evangeline Mile

Hard Spun gelding draws off late to earn first Stakes victory

Kupuna overhauled Five Star General in the stretch on his way to posting a five-and-a-half length victory in the $100,000 Evangeline Mile at Evangeline Downs on Saturday, 6 April.

It was the first Stakes victory for the five-year-old Hard Spun gelding, who improved his record to 4-5-2 in 17 career starts. Kupuna has earned over $385,000.

Unhurried in the beginning, Kupuna was settled well off the pace in fourth as Machine Gun Man went to the front to set the pace. Kupuna began closing in on the leader on the far turn, saving ground while hugging the inside rail. Jockey Mitchell Murrill then angled Kupuna outside to pass the tiring Machine Gun Man at the top of the stretch before drawing off through the lane to win easily.

Kupuna was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and Greg Biagi and is out of the winning Malibu Moon mare, Hanalei Hailey. Second dam is the multiple Stakes winner Miz United States, who has also produced multiple Stakes winner, Exaggerated, and Graded Stakes-placed Scampering.

In addition to Kupuna, Hard Spun is also the sire of Sparkle Blue, winner of the G2 Hillsborough Stakes and Drum Roll Please, who captured the $150,000 Jerome Stakes earlier this year. In 2023, Hard Spun was represented by Stakes winners Bold Journey, Two Phil’s, Loyalty and Spun Glass.

Hard Spun is standing the 2024 breeding season at Jonabell Farm for $35,000, stands and nurses.