The Hopeful (Grade 1)- $350.000 Purse
SAR- For Two Year Olds
Seven Furlongs on the Dirt
September 7, 2015
It’s hard to believe that the Saratoga meet is coming to an end. We had a lot of great moments this summer, but now we head into the final day. The feature race at the Spa will be the Grade 1 Hopeful, for a talented group of two year olds that are just getting started. The next time Saratoga rolls around, who knows what these horses may be running in during the 2016 meet. Last year, the Hopeful was won by Just A Chance for Mb Stables, and while that horse has had a successful career, the ones that finished second and third: Lukas Duke and Pinnacle West are the eye catchers.
In the old days, this race belonged to Unreal Racing. What that trainer did in this race was an amazing accomplishment, winning every stake from 2003 through 2007. Joey Akins, Sleepless Nights, Reason for the Blues and Crazy Town all got it done for that trainer. One of those was a dead heat, as in 2005 Reasonfortheblues and a horse you may have heard of called The Maestro were co-winners. Other winners include Noble Warrior, Sector Seven, and Model American. Great horses come out of this race, and in 2015 a new winner will emerge and have us looking at him too as a past great years down the road. History says it will. We started with seven entries, but with a scratch, we are left with six. Let us meet these promising youngsters!
#1- End of Clay (Sanny Village, ridden by J R Velazquez)- This gelding has gotten off a nice start in his career, winning one of his two career starts. The win was his maiden at GP, but it’s the race that he didn’t win that is the more impressive performance. Sanny Village put him right into the Grade 3 Bashford Manor, and he would finish fourth in a very quick race. The winner of that race, Black Mach One, set the new stake record in that event by over a second. So with End of Clay only being a length off that is pretty impressive. He has since been gelded and will add lasix for the first time. Much to like here.
#3- Grandeur (Mb Stables, ridden by J R Leparoux)- This Chai Latte foal is working very well coming into this race, which included a very quick work here at SAR on the 18th. All the works are strong, and Grandeur should be one of the favorites on raceday. So far, he has won two of his three career races, but like End of Clay it is the race that he didn’t win which is the most impressive result. The two victories were his maiden at TUP, and then an allowance at MTH where he defeated Palestinian, who just won the Funny Cide here last week. Grandeur last ran in the Grade 3 Sanford, where he was second by a neck in a race where the winner broke a stake record. Grandeur’s time also would have broken the record. His conformation is every bit as beautiful as his race results, and I am really starting to get excited about this colt and what his potential may be. He is my pick in this race.
#4- Snowmizer (Sarah Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- This colt is by Catch A Rising Star, who ran in some high profile two year old stakes himself, including being 2nd in the Grade 3 Sanford back in 2013. His dam, Winter Bird, is a four-time graded stake winner, including the Grade 1 DMR Oaks in 2008. So while Snowmizer himself has not run in any graded stakes yet, there is plenty of experience in the blood. To date, he has one win in two career starts, and the win was at this seven furlong distance in pretty impressive fashion up north at WO. A run like that again will give him a great chance to win today. He is working well today, and while I am not making him one of my picks, I can see him emerging as a one of the top horses from this race over the long run.
#5- Atomic Titty Twister (Blushing Meadows, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- He’s run three times already, with just the maiden win that came in his third start. The colt by Rene, who is by Mordred, just needed to starting going longer, and he loved the seven furlongs that he got to pick up that maiden victory here last month. Atomic Titty Twister has come out of that race working very well, and is poised for a nice run here. He doesn’t have a ton of well known pedigree, but he should not be ruled out.
#6- Who Stole My Sock (Jkk Racing Stables, ridden by J Alvarado)- This may be the one that trainer Jkk Racing Stables is hoping will fill the shoes (or should I say, socks?) Of Lukas Duke, who ran well in this very race last season before having a great run through the TC prep races. He is by the same sire, Luke Duke, who is a two time graded stake winner and also someone who ran in the Sanford, doing so in 2011. Who Stole My Stock doesn’t have a lot for me to evaluate from outsiders perspective, though he ran well in winning his maiden in his debut, at PID last month. You have to feel good about his chances to be a contender here.
#7- B N D Fusion (Drabfantasy, ridden by J L Ortiz)- B N D Fusion is by B N Dancer, who is by Broomstick Nebraska, who is known for putting out promising two year old with regularity. This colt is following in those footsteps and has won one of his three career starts. That victory was two starts ago, as in his last race, here just weeks ago, he attempted the Schenectady on turf. He nearly won that race, finishing second by half a length. Giving that, it could surprise some to see him turnaround so quickly back on the main track. He is very capable of bouncing right back here and should be of the favorites.
Categories: Grade I