A seven-furlong contest, the Hopeful tops an 11-race program on closing day at the Spa that also includes the $100,000 Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the turf. The 1 3/8-mile Glens Falls is led by former champion Forever Together, who will try to snap a six-race losing streak.
Jay Em Ess Stable’s Boys At Tosconova turned more than a few heads with his sparkling 12-length win in his July 2 maiden-breaking win at Belmont Park. The Rick Dutrow trainee went wire-to-wire in his five-furlong romp, increasing his lead at every call under Ramon Dominguez while earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure, which is tied for the best number of any juvenile so far this year.
A son of Officer—Little Bonnet, by Coronado’s Quest, Boys At Tosconova also has stakes experience to draw upon, as he finished a solid runner-up in his debut, the April 3 Kentucky Juvenile (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.
“His last race showed us he’s got a heck of a future and he’s been training unbelievable,” said Dutrow. “He’s ready to improve if need be. It’s a very good challenge, and we can’t wait for the race."
Dominguez will stay aboard the dark bay/brown colt, who was bred in Kentucky by Hertrich/McCarthy Livestock. They will break from post five as the 8-5 morning-line favorite.
Repole Stable’s Stay Thirsty also won in front-running fashion in his second start, a six-furlong sprint at Saratoga Aug. 14. The son of Bernardini—Marozia, by Storm Bird won by 5 1/2 lengths under John Velazquez, who will have the mount again from post six.
Stay Thirsty, a $500,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-olds in training sale, has turned in one work for trainer Todd Pletcher since his maiden victory, going five furlongs in 1:00.87 on Aug. 31 at the Spa.
“He’s bred to go 1 1/4 miles,” said owner Mike Repole. “If you had told me he was going to run so well at 5 1/2 and six furlongs, I would had said, ‘You’re kidding me.’ I believe he’ll improve a couple of lengths with every extra furlong.”
Kirk and Judy Robison’s Wine Police might be the second choice on the morning line, but his July 24 debut at Saratoga would have made him the favorite in most races. The son of Speightstown—Deputy Cures Blues, by War Deputy led all the way and drew off to score by nearly eight lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs under Shaun Bridgmohan.
Bridgmohan will ride for trainer Steve Asmussen once again, as Wine Police (5-2) breaks from the outside post.
"The most impressive aspect of his debut was the way he relaxed and then when I asked him, how professional he was,” said Bridgmohan. “Horses came around him, and he didn’t panic, and when I asked him to go, he took off.”
Asmussen, who seeks his first Hopeful win, will also saddle Vinery Stables’ Chipshot, the fifth-place finisher in the July 25 Sanford (gr. II). Chipshot, by Peace Rules, broke his maiden at third asking June 6 at Monmouth Park in gate-to-wire fashion. Alan Garcia will be aboard for the first time.
One race after the Hopeful is the Glens Falls, which drew a field of nine. Augustin Stable’s Forever Together will be the one to beat even though she has not won since taking the Diana Stakes (gr. IT) last summer at Saratoga.
The champion grass mare from 2008 and a four-time grade I winner with earnings of nearly $3 million, Forever Together has not been off the board in any of those six consecutive defeats, missing by less than a length four times. The Jonathan Sheppard trainee enters out of a head defeat in the July 31 Diana when finishing third in an attempt to win the event for the third straight year.
“She relaxes better now that she has matured, but sometimes she almost relaxes too much,” said Sheppard. “I don’t think the distance will be anything too difficult.”
Regular rider Julien Leparoux will have the mount on Forever Together, who will break from the outside post.
Among those facing the 6-5 favorite will be grade III winner Keertana, who enters off a runner-up finish in the Aug. 4 De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga and is the 4-1 second choice; Casablanca Smile, a two-time group I winner in Chile looking for her first win in North America in her third start here; and Irish-bred fillies Liberally and Beauty O' Gwaun.
$250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful (gr. I, Race 9, 5:22 p.m.), 2YO, 7 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Nacho Saint (KY), J Castellano, 120, K J Breen
2. Chipshot (FL), A Garcia, 120, S M Asmussen
3. Settle for Medal (KY), C H Velasquez, 120, M A Hennig
4. Printing Press (KY), R Maragh, 120, T M Pompay
5. Boys At Tosconova (KY), R A Dominguez, 120, R E Dutrow Jr.
6. Stay Thirsty (KY), J R Velazquez, 120, T A Pletcher
7. Wine Police (KY), S Bridgmohan, 120, S M Asmussen
$100,000 Glens Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 10, 5:56 p.m.), 3YO and Up, 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Casablanca Smile (CHI), J Castellano, 120, C R McGaughey III
2. Kiawah Cat (KY), J R Velazquez, 116, W I Mott
3. Keertana (KY), J Lezcano, 118, T F Proctor
4. Go Ask Alex (KY), F Lenclud, 111, J Glenney
5. Sweet and Flawless (KY), R A Dominguez, 116, E R Reed
6. Beauty O' Gwaun (IRE), A Garcia, 116, C Clement
7. Striking Dancer (KY), E S Prado, 116, K G McPeek
8. Liberally (IRE), R Maragh, 116, T Albertrani
9. Forever Together (KY), J R Leparoux, 118, J E Sheppard
10. McVictory (KY) (MTO), 117, T A Pletcher