Hope Stakes (Grade 3)- $100.000 Purse
DMR- For Two Year Olds
Seven Furlongs on the Dirt
November 14, 2021
In the Grade 3 Hope Stakes, our field was predominantly filled with up and comers, making the race seemingly up for grabs. It would be a great chance for a horse to make a great impression, and the one doing that in this race would be East Of Creep, for Barcelona Farms. This is a horse that debuted, like many others, in April of this year, but did not hit the track again until August. He’s always run well, but this was his first chance to run at the graded level and he would make the most of it! The 14/1 longshot would prevail over the more experienced Rudy Is With Me as well as Aladdins Genie, a horse that was perfect up to this point. This is the first win in the race for Barcelona Farms and jockey T J Pereira. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:21.86, similar to most editions run at DMR. Let’s take a look!
(¼ Mile- :22.83)- From his outside post, Ruffneck goes out to the early lead for TwinTowersRacing and pulls out to a lead of about a length over the race’s other quick starter, Aggrivated Bandit, out of Blue Ridge Racing. About a length and a half behind them are our two stalkers, one of them the post time favorite in Aladdins Genie as well as Union Mills, for Mb Stables and Sccj Stables, respectively. In the middle of the field, Savoy Brown (EasyMoney Stables) is next while in the third lane, and on the rail, Jersey Kick (Greeko Holdem) and Rudy Is With Me (Fractious) are nearby. Further back, our eventual winner is in the eighth position now for Barcelona Farms, conceding eight lengths to the leader. It’s an additional length to The Kingfish (Jediminds Stable).
(½ Mile- :46.12)- The early leader, Ruffneck, loses some steam in the backstretch, and Aggrivated Bandit goes by to his inside with little difficulty. However, Ruffneck may be about to drop back quicker than some others would have planned for, so we see a few needing to move out of the lanes that they had been in up to this point. Union Mills was the first to catch up to him, and he moves by to the outside. Aladdins Genie, who had been running with Union Mills, had a much more difficult time, and lost ground since the inside lane was occupied by Jersey Kick. That one moved into fourth, and Rudy Is With Me was out of trouble in regards to Ruffneck by being in the fourth lane, and he was also able to make up some ground. Savoy Brown, however, did not advance his position. For now, East Of Creep was still not a factor with anything at or near the front, running at the back but able to hold the rail. The Kingfish was another two lengths back now.
(Top Of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- There was nothing aggravated about Aggrivated Bandit rounding the turn, as he was still having a clean trip and showing the way. However, concern was likely beginning to set in as they hit the top of the stretch as several were closing in on him. The first one poised to make a pass for the lead was Union Mills, but approaching with an even stronger run at this point was Rudy Is With Me, as the Fractious entry had done a great job making the most from running on the outside most of the way. Jersey Kick was keeping them in striking distance, but the most impressive runner in the turn would be East Of Creep, cutting his deficit to the front to be about three lengths, and having a pretty clear lane in which to use for the stretch. Savoy Brown was holding his spot but not making a move, and Ruffneck had already fallen to seventh and pretty much singlehandedly taking Aladdins Genie out of contention. He was now at the back with The Kingfish.
(Finish- 1:21.86)- Early in the stretch, it would be Rudy Is With Me making the pass of Aggrivated Bandit before Union Mills would be able too. However, as good as he was looking, the bigger challenger was going to be East Of Creep, who powerfully moved back to the rail after getting around Jersey Kick. Midway through the stretch, it looked like Rudy Is With Me was going to hold on, but despite his valiant effort to the wire, East Of Creep had a little more power in his stride in the final moments, likely benefitting from having a rail trip much of the way while Rudy Is With Me was 3-4 wide throughout. East Of Creep would complete the pass late and win by half a length! Getting up for third was Aladdins Genie, who simply was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Ruffneck began dropping back. He showed good resilience to get back up for third. Fourth goes to Union Mills, though he disappointed in the stretch. Rounding it out, its Savoy Brown, Jersey Kick, Aggrivated Bandit, The Kingfish, and Jafar (aka Ruffneck).
About The Winner- East Of Creep, trained by Barcelona Farms and ridden to victory by T J Pereira, is a two year old gelding by East Shore Road and is out of Creep Suzette. He was bred in California by Barcelona Farms as a yearling, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his second in four starts, and his first stake win of any sort. His career earnings are now $99.400.
Time: :224 :46 1:094 1:214
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 1 – 8 Paid 126.00
$1 Trifecta: 1 – 8 – 3 Paid 264.40
Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES