Actin Good Leads Fred Hooper Field
Photo: Jeffrey Snyder
Actin Good winning the Pegasus (gr. III) at Monmouth Park on Breeders' Cup Day

Actin Good, a lightly-raced 3-year-old gelded son of Yes It's True  , has the advantage of being the lone graded stakes winner in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 15 at Calder Race Course, and drew the outside post in the 1 1/8-mile event on the main track.

A full field of 12 is entered for the race, one of four graded stakes on the $600,000 Grand Slam II program at Calder.

Actin Good enters off of a neck victory in the Oct. 27 Pegasus Stakes (gr. III), run on a very sloppy track at Monmouth Park on Breeders’ Cup day. The wire-to-wire score was his second win in only three starts this year for trainer and co-owner Bobby Dibona.

Out of the Colonial Affair mare Hollow Design, Actin Good was given nearly eight months off this year after finishing last in the Jan. 27 Sunshine Millions Dash at Gulfstream Park. Prior to the Pegasus, he returned from his layoff with a 3 3/4-length victory in a Sept. 22 allowance test at Suffolk Downs.

“He never left the barn, but we gave him time off and had him gelded in August, which was probably his problem all along, and it made all the difference in him,” Dibona said. “Then we were able to get a two-turn race into him on Mass Cap day at Suffolk Downs when Cornelio (Velasquez) was there and able to ride him, which set him up for the Pegasus. We’re also encouraged because the horse he beat in that race (Now a Victor) came back and won the Discovery Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct (Nov. 24).

“I picked this horse out at the OBS sales (February 2-year-olds in training for $142,000) and put together a partnership. He showed he was a good horse as a 2-year-old, but when he ran so badly in the Sunshine Millions (Dash), I knew something was bothering him.”

Actin Good, bred in Florida by Johnson Hollow Farm, has three wins in nine career starts, seven which have been in the money. Velasquez will get the mount again.

Competition could come from a trio of geldings – Electrify, Imawildandcrazyguy, and Summer Book – who finished one-two-three, respectively, in the $200,000 Carl Rose Classic Nov. 10 at Calder. Electrify, a 4-year-old son of Delaware Township, has won three of his last four starts, all in stakes competition in Florida. The Padua Stables homebred enjoys stalking the pace and will leave from post 11 with regular rider Elvis Trujillo aboard, carrying a top weight of 122 pounds.

A couple others to watch are Golden Strategy and Indy Wind, both of which can explode when at the top of their games.

Trained by Martin Wolfson, Golden Strategy has a pair of stakes wins in six starts in 2007, both of them at Calder. On July 28, he won the two-mile Turf Marathon Handicap by a whopping 10 1/4 lengths, and two starts later came back to take the Jackie Wackie Handicap by 11 3/4 lengths. A winner of 11 of 16 career starts, Golden Strategy shipped in from Panama late last year for Gainesway Farm and Joe Cornacchia. He won nine out of 10 starts in Panama.

Indy Wind has won three stakes this year for trainer Amy Tarrant. A 5-year-old son of A.P. Indy, he scored by 6 1/2 lengths in his most recent start, the one-mile Alysheba Stakes Nov. 3 at Meadowlands, an event he has won two consecutive years. Indy Wind has been on the board in 11 of 16 career starts, having won seven.

$100,000 Fred W Hooper Handicap (gr. III, Race 10, 4:19 p.m.), Three-Years-Old & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Golden Strategy, 117, Eddie Castro
2. Pop Goes the Tiger, 113, Constantino Hernandez
3. Indy Wind, 119, Mario Madrid
4. Mocoreta, 114, Jeffrey Sanchez
5. Wayzata Bay, 116, Jose Lezcano
6. Rehoboth, 114, Edgar S. Prado
7. Big Lover, 114 ,Eduardo O. Nunez
8. Whos Crying Now, 115, Jorge F. Chavez
9. Imawildandcrazyguy, 115, Manoel R. Cruz
10. Summer Book, 116, Rene R. Douglas
11. Electrify, 122, Elvis Trujillo
12. Actin Good, 117, Cornelio H. Velasquez

 

 

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