Two-year-old males will be in the spotlight in the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 5 when Saratoga brings the curtain down on its 2011 meet.
The 11-race Labor Day program includes the grade III Glens Falls Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf.
The $250,000 Hopeful, at seven furlongs, is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) later this year at Churchill Downs. The Hopeful attracted a field of 10 that includes two standout maiden winners, Joseph Bucci’s J C's Pride and Klaravich Stables’ Currency Swap.
J C’s Pride, a Henny Hughes colt, set a Saratoga track record July 27 when he won a five-furlong maiden test in :56.54 in his second start. He’s the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the Hopeful.
“He’s very, very rapid,” trainer Bobby Barbara said. “But he’s very easy to handle. I’m hoping he gets out of the gate like he did in his first two starts, stays in front, and relaxes on the lead.
“If someone runs at him down the backside, he’s not a horse who’s going to grab the bridle and run off. He has got a wonderful mind. That’s what’s going to keep him sound and good, because he’s not aggressive and running off.”
Currency Swap, trained by Teresa Pompay, made the most of his only start Aug. 6 when he went four-wide on the turn and drew off to a six-length victory. The High Cotton colt covered the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.02.
“He’s smart, good-looking, a nice mover, and fast,” Pompay said. “I think stretching out he’s going to like the distance. In his first race, he ran off his talent, and I hope he learned something.
“They’re all talented; it’s a matter of who comes forward, and who doesn’t.”
Big Blue Nation, by Bluegrass Cat , pressed the early pace and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in a six-furlong race at Churchill Downs July 3, after which he was purchased by Bortoazzo Stable. Pletcher said the colt has been training well in the three weeks he has had him in his barn.
Hunt Crossing, by first-crop sire Corinthian, was a four-length winner at five furlongs at Saratoga Aug 3.
The $100,000 Glens Falls at 1 3/8 miles on grass drew a field of 11 with a 12th horse, Dynazaper, listed as main-track-only. Pletcher has the 7-2 (turf) morning-line favorite in Bubbly Jane, winner of the 2008 Brazilian Oaks (Brz-I).
In her last start July 9 off a 14-month layoff, Bubbly Jane finished second in the Robert Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park. That race was at 1 3/8 miles.
“We thought she ran a credible race off the layoff in the Robert Dick Memorial,” Pletcher said. “She’s probably the type that will settle mid-division and make a steady run.”
Pletcher said Bubbly Jane, a 6-year-old mare by Yagli, is the first horse he has trained for Haras Interlagos, a leading Brazilian breeding outfit that also bred the mare.
$250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I, Race 9, 4:52 p.m.), 2-Year-Olds, Seven Furlongs (Dirt)
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey, Trainer
1. Hunt Crossing, 120, J Velazquez, T Pletcher
2. Vexor, 120, D Cohen, J Kimmel
3. Currency Swap, 120, R Maragh, T Pompay
4. Power World, 120, E Prado, N Howard
5. Clip the Coupons, 120, E Castro, C Brown
6. Big Blue Nation, 120, R Dominguez, T Pletcher
7. Trinniberg, 120, C Velasquez, B Parboo
8. I'll Have Another, 120, J Leparoux, D O'Neill
9. Laurie's Rocket, 120, K Desormeaux, D Stewart
10. J C's Pride, 120, J Lezcano, R Barbara
(Currency Swap and Clip the Coupons are coupled)
$100,000 Glens Falls Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 10, 5:26 p.m.), Fillies and Mares 3-Year-Olds and Up, 1 3/8 miles (Turf)
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey, Trainer
1. Prize Catch, 116, C Velasquez, A Penna Jr.
2. Gold d'Oro, 116, E Prado, W Mott
3. Emerald Beech, 116, A Solis, J Sheppard
4. Ainamaa, 116, D Cohen, S Margolis
5. Endless Expanse, 116, J Leparoux, C Clement
6. Zapparition, 116, J Lezcano, D Romans
7. Dynaslew, 118, K Desormeaux, S Benzel
8. Bubbly Jane, 118, J Velazquez, T Pletcher
9. Giants Play, 120, R Maragh, C Clement
10. Dyani, 116, E Castro, E Kenneally
11. Senada, 116, R Dominguez, B Tagg
12. (MTO) Dynazaper, 117,no rider named, W Mott