Hopeful S.

Nutella Fella Another Stakes Upsetter For Contessa In Hopeful

Trainer Gary Contessa, who sprang a 21-1 upset in the opening-day GIII Schuylerville S., brought the curtain down on the 2023 Saratoga season with another shocker when 54-1 outsider Nutella Fella (Runhappy) ran down the field late to take the GI Hopeful S. Monday in upstate New York. Fractious behind the gate and away slowly, Nutella Fella was well back in last as a four-way speed battle developed up front. After tacking onto the rest of the field approaching the three-eighths pole, Nutella Fella was committed to an inside run...

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Hearts Concerto Looms a Double-Digit Danger in Hopeful

Wednesday's Hopeful S. is the last of 24 Group 1 events on the JRA circuit for 2022 and the event has attracted a wide-open group of juveniles who will try to prove their mettle over the 2000-metres. Hearts Concerto (Jpn) (Heart's Cry {Jpn}) could offer value relative to what he's accomplished in his two racetrack appearances to date. The bay dismantled a group of newcomers by eight resounding lengths as the 9-10 chalk going this trip at Chukyo Sept. 18 and was the hot favourite for the nine-furlong G2 Tokyo...

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Five of Six Have Hopeful Claims

The curtain falls on the 40-day Saratoga meeting Monday afternoon with a field of six set to head to the post for the GI Hopeful S. And a legitimate case can be made for all but one of the juvenile colts signed on. Half of the Hopeful field have already been accorded 'TDN Rising Star' honors and Gulfport (Uncle Mo) could well go favored for Steve Asmussen and the Heiligbrodts. The $275,000 Fasig-Tipton July purchased could not have looked better in his first two career outings--a seven-length debut at 1-2...

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Spa Notebook: Lovell Looking To Two Turns for Damon's Mound

Trainer Michelle Lovell, who sent out 'TDN Rising Star' Damon's Mound (Girvin) to win Saturday's GII Saratoga Special S., said Sunday that she was not ruling out either the seven-furlong GI Hopeful S. Sept. 5 or the Oct. 5 GI Champagne S. at the Belmont at the Big A meet going a one-turn mile, but is more inclined to get the colt some two-turn route experience for his next appearance. "Everything's on our radar," said Lovell. "We'll see how he is. He's never had a bad day, so I don't...

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Blazing Sevens A Mix of Genius and Racing Luck

There are no bigger stages and brighter lights than Saratoga in the summer, and Blazing Sevens (Good Magic--Trophy Girl, by Warrior's Reward) showcased his razzle-dazzle with aplomb, blitzing a field of well-regarded debuters to loudly proclaim himself worthy of 'TDN Rising Star'-dom. Beating out two others in the race by his freshman sire to become a fifth winner, and the first to get the TDN's stamp of approval, for Good Magic, Blazing Sevens added another layer of sheen to breeder Tracy Farmer's banner last Sunday. In addition to being represented...

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Gunite Caps Grade I Double For Gun Runner in Hopeful

Gunite (Gun Runner) capped off a remarkable summer for both his freshman sire and his trainer on closing day Monday at Saratoga, shaking off pace pressure and kicking away in the stretch to an 11-1 upset of the GI Hopeful S. His well-earned victory made it a clean sweep of the Spa's annual marquee 2-year-old races for Three Chimneys Farm's freshman sensation Gun Runner after Echo Zulu dominated the GI Spinaway S. Sunday, and was the icing on the cake for Steve Asmussen, who had his most successful Saratoga season...

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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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Wit Helps Everyone to Get the Joke

Let's get one thing straight, right off the bat. Even setting aside the fact that our industry--with the complicity of the media--devotes disproportionate attention and resources to freshman sires, July is way too early to be deciding which few will ultimately build a sustainable career in Kentucky. True, it can only be auspicious to see Gun Runner already perched at the top of their prizemoney table. Though he put together his Horse of the Year campaign as a 4-year-old, he has already had eight winners from 18 starters. But other...

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Came Home Passes Away In Japan

Came Home (Gone West--Nice Assay, by Mr. Prospector), a Grade I-winning juvenile who effectively carried his speed a classic distance, has passed away after a bout with colic in Japan, according to published reports. He was 22 years old. Bred by the late John Toffan and Trudy McCaffery, the half-brother to GSW A. P. Assay (A.P. Indy) was bought back on a bid of $650,000 as a weanling at Keeneland November in 1999 and failed to meet his reserve when offered as a yearling at Keeneland September and as a...

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First Foal For GISW Sporting Chance a Filly

The first foal for New Mexico-based Sporting Chance (Tiznow) is a filly out of the stakes-winning Cherry One (Sir Cherokee), according to A & A Ranch's Fred Alexander. The chestnut is a half-sister to One Mark (Marking), second in the 2020 Mountain Top New Mexico-bred Thoroughbred Futurity. Sporting Chance, who bred a book of 51 mares in his first year at stud in 2020, was a $275,000 Keeneland November weanling turned $575,000 who was trained by D. Wayne Lukas to defeat Free Drop Billy (Union Rags) in the 2017 GI...

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Practical Joke Yearlings Hit Market at Opportune Moment

Champion sire Into Mischief has had a lot of good weekends. But this year's Kentucky Derby weekend had to be near the top of the list. On Friday, his son Owendale ran second in the GII Alysheba S. at Churchill Downs only to be defeated by By My Standards, sired by none other than Into Mischief's leading son Goldencents. Then the next day at Saratoga, Into Mischief's daughter Frank's Rockette became a Grade II winner in the Prioress S. while at Gulfstream, Cool Arrow won the GIII Smile Sprint S....

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