GI Hopeful S.

Different Hats Keep McDonald Ever Hopeful

Perhaps it is called the Hopeful Stakes because that's the most anyone can ever be with a Thoroughbred. But if nearly any purchaser at Keeneland over the next couple of weeks would like to be contesting that race, a year from now, then one consignor might give them not just hope but something closer to confidence. Okay, so a trifecta for Eaton Sales graduates in the Saratoga Grade I last year featured only the winner, Forte (Violence), from the 2021 Keeneland September Sale. Runner-up Gulfport (Uncle Mo) and third Blazing...

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'Everything Looks Good' With Rhyme Schemes After Saratoga Special Win

Pura Vida Investments' Rhyme Schemes (Ghostzapper), winner of Saturday's GII Saratoga Special S., exited his easy victory in good form Sunday, according to trainer Norm Casse, who charted a fall campaign for the colt. "Everything looks good [Sunday] morning and he seems happy; no complaints," said Casse, who celebrated his fifth career graded victory. "Overall, it's so rewarding. I've been doing this for a long time and Saratoga is an iconic place--the Saratoga Special is an iconic race. Just to be involved is humbling, and to win it is something...

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Violence's Forte Sweeps to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Win

LEXINGTON, KY - Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola bought 43 yearlings for more than $16 million to top the sheets for the first of two straight years at the 2021 Keeneland September sale. 'TDN Rising Star' Forte (Violence), a $110,000 purchase out of that auction, made good on the duo's significant investment in the industry by capping his 2-year-old season with a championship-worthy performance for trainer Todd Pletcher in Friday's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Repole Stable, Viola's St. Elias Stable and Pletcher previously teamed up to capture the 2019 GI...

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Violence's Forte Bounces Back in Hopeful as Rising Stars Run 1-2-3

Repole Stable and St Elias Stable's Forte (Violence), the beaten favorite in the GIII Sanford S. on opening weekend, rebounded with an emphatic victory through the rain drops in the GI Hopeful S. on closing day at Saratoga Monday. Sent off at 6-1, the dark bay colt was squeezed back at the break and rated near the back of the field as favored Gulfport (Uncle Mo), looking to rebound from his own defeat as a Spa favorite in the Aug. 13 GII Saratoga Special, jumped out to the early lead...

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Lukas 'Hopeful' On Final Weekend At The Spa

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Here we are on the final weekend of the Saratoga season and--no surprise--D. Wayne Lukas is ready to take swings in both of the historic Grade I races for 2-year-olds. The Hall of Fame trainer, who turned 87 Friday, will saddle Holy Cow Stable's Naughty Gal (Into Mischief) Sunday in the GI Spinaway S. The next afternoon, Lukas will send out BC Stable's Bourbon Bash (City of Light) and Western Ghent (American Pharoah) in the GI Hopeful, the final stake of the 154th season of Saratoga...

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D. Wayne Lukas Turns Back Time at Summer in Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - This has been a turn-back-the-clock, very D. Wayne Lukas-like, summer at Saratoga for the Hall of Fame trainer. As he approaches his 87th birthday on Sept. 2, the racing legend has won a graded stake, finished second in two others, and made his presence felt at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale with the purchase of five yearlings for $2.725 million, led by of a son of Medaglia d'Oro for $1.35 million. After skipping the past two Saratoga seasons due to a combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and...

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GISW Basin Retired to Spendthrift

GISW Basin (Liam's Map-Appenzell, by Johannesburg) has been retired from racing and will stand at Spendthrift Farm in 2022. Standing for a fee of $7,500 S&N, the 4-year-old will participate in the farm's "Share The Upside" program. "We are excited to add Basin to the Spendthrift stallion ranks and to be able to offer breeders a horse of his caliber through our Share The Upside program," said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift General Manager. "We pride ourselves on being able to offer quality at all levels, and we believe there's a lot...

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'High' Hopes in Hopeful Showdown

No less than five undefeated 2-year-olds--including two graded winners--line up for Saratoga's Labor Day finale in the GI Hopeful S. Hard to separate, at least on paper, are Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable and Gainesway's Wit (Practical Joke) and LRE Racing and JEH Racing's High Oak (Gormley). The former earned TDN Rising Star billing when kicking off his career with a six-length score at Belmont June 5. Equally impressive in his return in the July 17 GIII Sanford S., the Todd Pletcher trainee cruised home an easy eight-length winner in...

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Hopeful Could Be Next For Defend

The connections of Defend (American Freedom), a romping winner in his Aug. 5 debut at Delaware Park, have yet to pick out his next race, but they aren't afraid to tackle a tough spot, including the GI Hopeful S. It's clear to see why. "His race was phenomenal. It looked like he was on cruise control," Susan Montanye said of his debut. Montanye bought the colt as a yearling and still owns a small percentage in partnership with Nick Sanna. Montanye was among the first to discover his potential talent....

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