from the New York Racing Association
Three Chimneys Farm has become the two-year title sponsor of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, the New York Racing Association announced Aug. 4.
One of the most important races for 2-year-olds run at Saratoga, the seven-furlong event, now called the Three Chimneys Hopeful, will be run for the 104th time Labor Day, Sept. 1.
“The Hopeful Stakes has long held a unique place on the Saratoga stakes schedule, as the winner is automatically stamped as the crop’s first classic hopeful,” NYRA president and chief executive officer Charles Hayward said. “Three Chimneys Farm has such strong associations with classic-type horses, so we’re thrilled they’ve extended those associations to include the Three Chimneys Hopeful.”
The race traces its roots back to its inaugural running in 1903, and since then, Man o’ War (1919), Whirlaway (1940), Native Dancer (1952), Jaipur (1961), Buckpasser (1965), Secretariat (1972), Affirmed (1977), and Afleet Alex (2004) have all won the grade I contest. Many other winners of the Hopeful have gone on to win a classic, including 14 who went on to win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
“Sponsoring a race as prestigious as the Hopeful is a privilege,” said Robert Clay, owner of Three Chimneys Farm. “We are thrilled to be involved with NYRA as the sponsor of one of the premier 2-year-old races in the country. We have been associated with two Hopeful winners, Chief’s Crown (1984) and Sky Mesa (2002), and we look forward to supporting the race, beginning this year.”