Monday, September 3, 2012

Hopeful Stakes Racing Roundup

Owners George and Lori Hall will send the coupled entry of Bern Identity and Vegas No Show to the starting gate today as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the 108th running of the $300,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course.

Bern Identity comes into the race with a 1¼-length win in the Sanford Stakes (G2) last month at Saratoga. Vegas No Show comes into the race with a one-length win in one mile maiden race at Delaware Park on July 26.

Both horses are trained by Kelly Breen who, with a recent bullet work out for both colts, could have them ready to run a good race.

Of the two, I look for Bern Identity to be the most competitive. I don’t think he’ll win but he could be a factor in the exotics.

The young horse I like best in this race is the Distorted Humor colt Fortify (4-1) who was an impressive 5½-length winner in this maiden debut on August 4 at Saratoga.

He showed a lot of speed in his debut and he still had a lot left at the end of the race. Since then he’s fired an impressive bullet work out for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and if he repeats the winning performance of his debut, Fortify will be tough to beat.

I also think Fortify has the best pedigree of this bunch. His sire Distorted Humor sired the classic champions Funny Cide and Drosselmeyer and he’s the grandsire of I’ll Have Another.

Fortify is a descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line and that line has produced the most Hopeful winner since 1990: Dublin (2009), Vineyard Haven (2008), Circular Quay (2006), Afleet Alex (2004), Silver Wagon (2003), Came Home (2001), City Zip (2000, dead-heated with Yonaguska), Smoke Glacken (1996) and Great Navigator (1992).

A long shot I like in this race is Majestic Hussar (8-1) who comes into the race for trainer Eddie Kenneally off of an impressive 6¼-length win in 6-furlong maiden race in the slop at Saratoga on August 11.

Majestic Hussar showed good speed from the gate and looked professional down the lane in his maiden win. If he repeats that performance, Majestic Hussar could be competitive in the Hopeful.

Another long shot I like is Show Some Magic (6-1) who finally broke his maiden after his fourth attempt for trainer Steve Asmussen with a win in a 5½-furlong sprint at Saratoga on August 16.

Prior to his maiden victory, Show Some Magic had been racing in good company with a second-place finish to Circle Unbroken who went on to win the Bashford Manor Stakes (G3) and another second-place finish to Spurious Precision who later won the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2).

Distorted Humor is the grandsire of Show Some Magic whose sire Any Given Saturday finished second in the Kentucky Jockey Club S. (G2) as a 2-year-old. On the 2007 Kentucky Derby Trail, Any Given Saturday was a competitive colt that won the Sam Davis Stakes, finished second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G3) and third in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1).

Real Quiet, the damsire of Show Some Magic, won the 1998 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) and lost the Belmont Stakes (G1) by a nose to Victory Gallop.

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends the coupled entry of Lawn Man and Shanghai Bobby to the starting gate for Starlight Racing as the 7-2 morning line third choice.

Lawn Man comes into the Hopeful off of a 4½-length maiden win at Saratoga on July 28 and in his last race Shanghai Bobby won the 5½-furlong Track Barron Stakes at Belmont Park on June 27.

Lawn Man has a pretty decent pedigree with Flatter as his sire and classic winner Go For Gin as the damsire.

Harlan’s Holiday, the sire of Shanghai Bobby, was competitive as a two year old winning the Iroquois Stakes (G3), Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes, Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes and the Hoover Stakes.

Jockey Rosie Napravnik had the mount on Shanghai Bobby in his previous two starts and she retains the mount for today’s race.

Good luck with your picks!

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