Hal's Hope, a top 3-year-old of 2000 before finishing a disappointing 16th in the Kentucky Derby, returned to the winner's circle Monday when he won the $75,000 Memorial Day Handicap at Calder Race Course.
An anticipated speed duel between Hal's Hope and Forty One Carats did not materialize as the pair set moderate early fractions. At the end, Hal's Hope emerged on top, followed by American Halo and Tahkodha Hills. Forty One Carats, who finished fifth, sustained an injury to his left front fetlock. Track veterinarian Dr. Mary Scollay immobilized Forty One Carats' injury with a splint and the 5-year-old was taken back to the barn for a complete evaluation.
Hal's Hope, a son of Jolie's Halo, completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.4 under regular jockey Roger Velez. A homebred owned and trained by Harold Rose, who turns 90 next month, Hal's Hope has won two of three starts this year. The 4-year-old has won six of 20 lifetime and earned more than $700,000.
Hal's Hope, winner of the 2000 Florida Derby, paid $7.60, 5.20, 2.80. American Halo returned $5.80, 3.60 and Tahkodha Hills paid $3.80 to show.
"I know that when he's right, he can run with any of them," Rose said.