Hofmans Confident in Balance and Greg's Gold

Hofmans Confident in Balance and Greg's Gold
Photo: Barbara Livingston
Greg's Gold trains at Monmouth earlier this week.

David Hofmans, who will send out two horses in this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships, is convinced the advantages will outweigh the obstacles facing his runners in the Oct. 27 races at Monmouth Park.

Balance, who has been winless since March, will enter the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) off a fourth in the Sept. 30 Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
  
"My spirits aren't dampened," Hofmans said of his filly, who captured two grade I contests last year and this year won the March 31 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita.

"I've won a couple of other Breeders' Cup races, and nobody thought either of those guys had a chance," he added, noting he thought Balance was just as good if not better than Adoration, who he saddled to post a huge upset victory in the 2003 Distaff.

Balance, a 4-year-old daughter of Thunder Gulch out of the Kris S. mare Vertigineux is owned by John and Jerry Amerman's Amerman Racing Stables.

Hofmans said Balance's high-strung nature could have been a factor in the filly's failed attempts to find the winner's circle in her last four outings, three of which she ran in the money, including a second in the July 2 Vanity Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park.

"(Balance) loves this track," said Hofmans of the Monmouth Park surface. "It reminds me of the old Santa Anita dirt track, and I think that's going to work in our favor," he added, referring to the filly's 2006 victories the Santa Anita Oaks and Las Virgenes Stakes (both gr. I) at the Southern California track.

Hofmans will also saddle Greg's Gold for the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). The gelding by Lake George finished second in the Ancient Title Stakes (gr. I) at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet last time out.

"I was somewhat happy and somewhat upset (with that effort)," said Hofmans. "I was happy that the horse didn't have to put in too big of an effort coming into the race because it was only three weeks ago, but I was somewhat upset because he didn't win the race."

Greg's Gold, who suffered a bowed tendon following his victory in the 2005 Bing Crosby Handicap (gr. I) at Del Mar, was sidelined for his 4- and 5-year-old seasons, during which he underwent stem cell therapy.

The gelding made a huge comeback in winning his 2007 seasonal debut at Santa Anita in February. His two other victories from seven starts this year came in the Pat O'Brien Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar and the Tiznow Stakes at Hollywood Park.

"He's responded very well to stem cell therapy and has come back and competed at a pretty high level, which is unusual for horses that (bow tendons)," said Hofmans. "I think it has to do with his maturity, too. He's 6 now; he was 4 then. He's come back to be a better horse."

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