Ridden by Gabriel Saez and the only 3-year-old in the race, she posted a half-length triumph as the 8-5 favorite over 4-year-old Cash’s Girl over a sloppy track. She covered the six furlongs in 1:10.07.
It was the second career stakes victory for the Kentucky-bred, Lemon Drop Kid filly, who ran a distant second--beaten seven lengths--to champion Indian Blessing in the Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga at August.
In winning the Endine, Sweet Hope improved her record to four wins from a dozen starts and earnings of $242,209. She is trained by J. Larry Jones.
Breaking from post 2, Sweet Hope vied for the early lead with second choice Hungarian Boatbaby before taking command and opening up a half-length lead after a half-mile. She increased her margin to 1 1/2 lengths after five furlongs, run in :57.06, and held on to win by a half-length over a rallying Cash’s Girl, who had 2 1/2 lengths on Hungarian Boatbaby at the end.
Sweet Hope’s victory in the Endine--named for the 1958-59 winner of the Delaware Handicap--was the fourth stakes win at the Delaware meeting for Jones, who took over the training of Sweet Hope from California conditioner Steve Sherman in the spring. Jones also saddled Sweet Hope to win the Beautiful Day Stakes in June. His big win came when Proud Spell won the Delaware Oaks (gr. II) in July.
Bred by Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estates and a $320,000 Keeneland April 2-year-old, Sweet Hope is out of the stakes-winning Salt Lake mare High Heeled Hope, who was twice grade I stakes-placed.
Sweet Hope, who carried 117 pounds, paid $5.20, $3.20, and 2.60; Cash’s Girl rewarded her backers with $3.40 and $3.00; and Hungarian Boatbaby returned $3.20. Finishing behind them were 123-pound topweight Graeme Six, Ticket to Seattle, My Sister Sue, and Bedside Story. Elope and Hadavision were scratched.