Sporting Chance takes the grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Race Course

Sporting Chance takes the grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga Race Course

Coglianese Photos/Chelsea Durand

Sporting Chance Aims for Return in Southwest

Tiznow colt had knee chip removed and was sidelined for 60 days.

According to his trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Hopeful Stakes (G1) winner Sporting Chance will target the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park Feb. 19 to launch his 3-year-old campaign.

The son of Tiznow  hasn't run since taking the Sept. 4 Hopeful at Saratoga Race Course. He had a knee chip removed shortly after the seven-furlong race and was sidelined for 60 days.

Lukas said Sporting Chance won't make the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 15—Oaklawn's first of four preps for the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1)—but "we'll look at the next two," including the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 17.

"We haven't had any serious works or anything, but we've got six or eight weeks," Lukas said. "More than that, I guess. We should be in great shape. Really, a talented horse."

Sporting Chance, who has won two of three starts this year and finished second in his debut, was a $575,000 purchase from Woods Edge Farm's consignment to the Keeneland September yearling sale by longtime Lukas clients Robert Baker and William Mack.

Lukas said he's also excited about another youngster, Baker and Mack's Transgress, who worked a half-mile in :48 4/5 over a fast track Dec. 14. Unraced since a runner-up finish in his June 15 debut at Churchill Downs, the son of Into Mischief  was sold for $225,000 by Top Line Sales at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga Select yearling sale.