Class and Intrigue Make Hals Hope a Must See

6 GP    The Hals Hope (GIII)

   $100.000        4yo&Up          1 1/8m  Dirt         124lbs +penalties

We should have a full gate for the 2020 running of The Hals Hope (GIII), a mile and an eighth contest on the main track here in Hallandale.  The field is full and we have an AE, which should add to the excitement in this one.  Add in that we have last year’s KYD and
BEL winners, it adds up to be a beauty.

Speaking of which, I took Admiration, last year’s BEL winner, as my top choice.  He won four races last year and put a ton of money in the bank – add in that both of his last two races were probably shorter than he likes… this looks like the spot to get well.  Let’s give the nod for the second spot to Storming.  I like his two recent races, switching over to the main track from the grass, and I think he can continue to improve and be a huge factor today.  I’ll go just to his inside and take Five Little Pigs as the third choice.  He has some very nice races last season and I think he can be in the middle of this one as well.

You can make a case for a bunch of these, so it should be a fun one.

Here’s The Field –

 Waiting On My Moment  Luz International  Ortiz J L 124 12/1

His only stakes try was an up-the-track effort at RP back in Sep and he was a beaten .20 favorite at HOU in his most recent race, that kicked-off his ’20 season.  Obviously he’s going to need his very best to be any part of this tough group.

 Beach Dandy  John Henry  Castellano J J 124 8/1

Last year’s KYD winner has been in a bit of a lull since that huge victory last May.  He was second in the PA Derby (GI) but the last three starts have been anything but pleasant.  Obviously, his best makes him a huge contender, but does he have his best left in him?

 Long Time Ago  Maletto  Bravo J 124 6/1

Had back to back wins in LA before tiring badly in the late stages of the Pelican at TAM in his most recent.  He has tactical speed, which is always useful, but being able to harness it and release when needed is key to his finish.

 Goldbracletparade  Hunterman Stable  Tunon M 124 7/1

Nice closing effort to be third in a turf overnight stakes at GP in his most recent.  He had four wins last year while facing softer than what he sees in this one, but he did close well when going 7f at CD to close out the ’19 season.  Maybe he improves with the added distance.

 Five Little Pigs  Nolespan Racing  Jaramillo E 124 5/’1

On the board in five of six races last season and had a nice win at PRM in July.  Was a tiring sixth in the Mineshaft (GIII) last out and obviously needs to show more, but certainly has the ability.  His best makes him a factor but he needs to get back in form.

 Storming  Fractious  Gaffalione T 124 5/1

A single win from ten starts last season and that came on the grass at SAR back in Aug.  He also had a pair of thirds while facing graded horses, so he can be a factor when he wants to.  He’s another in a long list of could be a factor horses.

 Goat Locker  Gdp Inc  Saez L 124 6/1

Nice claim being nabbed for a mere $16.000 ad then won an overnight stakes at GP in his first start for the new stable.  Also posted a nice bullet work at AQU getting ready for today, so the barn may have found the magic with this one.

 Admiration  Mb Stables  Velazquez J R 124 7/2

Four wins last season for the BEL winner and he also won the Awesome Again (GI) before a sixth place finish on BC Day.  Was closing well when fifth in the General George (GIII) but he needs more ground than the 7f that afternoon.  Looks well placed.

 Halon  Twobyfour  Prado E S 124 10/1

Jumps up in class off of a pair of ’20 starts where he won in wire to wire fashion then tired vs. similar at FG last out.  This is a tough lot and I think he may have his back to the wall here today.

 Courageous Tantra  Paradise Stable  Landeros C 124 10/1

Only a single win last year and that was just about a year ago.  Does show a pair of second place finishes v. weaker but has been working like a beast with bullets flying everywhere.  If his past stakes races are any indication, you have to look over him.

 Wakey Wakey  YME Stable  Lopez P 124 7/1

Three straight wins coming at a mile, mile and a sixteenth and a mile and a quarter, so the barn sends him up the ladder to face graded horses.  That trio of wins came after the vet made a visit to the barn, so maybe he’s concentrating a bit better – can he make it four?

 Gaius Julius Caesar  Arindel  Ortiz I Jr 124 15/1

His lone ’19 win was a year ago while facing $40.000 claimers at GP.  Since then he’s changed hands three times and was third at the $10.000 tag last out.  He looks over-matched in my eye.

 Wild Hippies  Nakamura Stables  – No Rider – 124 AE

Will need a scratch to be part of this one – had back to back wins to close ’19 and start ’20, then was sixth at GP last out in a stakes.

Categories: Grade III

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