City Zip will attempt to become the first horse since Dehere in 1993 to sweep Saratoga's juvenile stakes when he faces 11 rivals in Saturday's $200,000 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I). City Zip has already won the Sanford Stakes (gr. II) and the Saratoga Special (gr. II) on the current meet and will be guided by Jose Santos from post position nine in Saturday's seven-furlong Hopeful.
"The fact that he is so ratable and has the tactical speed that he has are the biggest keys to his success," said trainer Linda Rice. "He certainly has a lot of seasoning and I think that's an advantage now."
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas sends out two runners, Yonaguska and Scorpion. Michael Tabor's Flash Stakes winner Yonaguska finished second to City Zip in the Sanford in his only career loss.
Scorpion, meanwhile, came home second in the Special after finishing third in the Sanford. The son of Seattle Slew is winless since taking his career debut in May, but has finished on the board in three starts since, all in graded stakes.
The Hopeful is also the first leg in a new bonus series offered by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The NTRA will pay a bonus of $250,000 to the owner and $50,000 to the consignor of any horse that wins one of the seven races in the series plus the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. An additional $1-million would be paid to the owner should the bonus winner go on to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The other six races in the series leading up to the Breeders' Cup are the Del Mar Furturity (Del Mar), the Futurity (Belmont Park), the Arlington-Washington Futurity (Arlington International), the Norfolk Stakes (Oak Tree), the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (Keeneland), and the Champagne Stakes (Belmont Park).
The field for the Hopeful will consist of:
1--Standard Speed, Camillo Pitty
2--Yonaguska, Jerry Bailey
3--Evening Attire, Robbie Davis
4--T P Louie, Richard Migliore
5--Jacksrbetter, Aaron Gryder
6--Zone Judge, Jorge Chavez
7--Macho Uno, Edgar Prado
8--Saint Verre, Mike Smith
9--City Zip, Jose Santos
10--Scorpion, Pat Day
11--What's Up Dog, Alison Hershbell
12--One by the Knows, Shane SellersAll starters will carry 122 pounds.