Eternal Hope registers 82BSF in G3 Fasig-Tipton Jockey Club Oaks Invitational
by NYRA Press Office
- Eternal Hope registers 82BSF in G3 Fasig-Tipton Jockey Club Oaks Invitational
- Sacred Wish receives career-best 90 BSF for Winter Memories victory; Crimson Advocate works at Saratoga
- G1 Champagne, $150K Nashua within realm of possibility for maiden winner Private Desire
- Davis secures more Grade 1 success with Summer winner Carson’s Run
Godolphin’s Irish homebred Eternal Hope rallied from 23 lengths off the pace to capture Saturday’s Grade 3, $350,000 Fasig-Tipton Jockey Club Invitational Oaks, an 11-furlong inner turf test for sophomore fillies at Belmont at the Big A.
Trained by Charlie Appleby and patiently ridden by Jamie Spencer in her stateside debut, the Teofilo chestnut was off a step slow and trailed in last-of-7 before advancing through the final turn with a seven-wide run. Neecie Marie, who also raced near the back as Stephanie’s Charm set an ambitious pace through a 15-length advantage after three-quarters in 1:13.32, took an inside route to the finish. The two foes battled gamely to the wire with Eternal Hope prevailing by a neck over Neecie Marie in a final time of 2:16.47 over firm footing. Eternal Hope garnered an 82 Beyer Speed Figure.
“We thought there was going to be some pace in the race, but not quite that,” said Chris Connett, Appleby's travelling assistant. “She was a bit tardy away, which we weren’t expecting. We’d hoped to sit a little handier than we were, but Jamie gave her a lovely Jamie Spencer ride and got her rolling early enough. Once she leveled out into the straight, she picked up pretty good considering she wasn’t really in love with the ground. It worked out well in the end.
“The runner-up got a lovely trip around up the inside and really rallied,” Connett added. “But I think once our filly got straightened out and Jamie got her on a level playing field, I was always confident she was going to get there.”
Eternal Hope captured the 12-furlong Oaks Trial over the Lingfield synthetic in May ahead of a distant seventh in the Group 1 Epsom Oaks in June. She arrived from a strong third-place finish in the 10-furlong Group 2 Prix Alec Head over soft going on August 20 at Deauville, finishing 1 1/2-lengths back of the victorious Group 1-winner Jannah Rose. The runner-up of that event, Lumiere Rock, came back to win the Group 2 Blandford last Sunday at The Curragh.
Connett said Eternal Hope exited the impressive win in good order.
“She seems to have pulled up really nicely. She ate up, looks fine and been out for a nice pick of grass – all good,” Connett said. “We’ll ship back on Tuesday and the team will make a plan from there.”
Eternal Hope’s victory was part of a strong showing Saturday by Appleby-trained Godolphin homebreds that saw a pair of runners compete in Grade 1 “Win and You’re In” events at Woodbine that featured a dominant win by Master of the Seas [104 BSF] in the Woodbine Mile and a troubled third from Dazzling Star [72 BSF] in the Natalma, which was won by She Feels Pretty.
Master of the Seas, a 5-year-old Dubawi gelding, entered from a strong score in the Group 2 Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile in July at Ascot.
“Master of the Seas ran a really nice race. He showed in his last run at Ascot that he’s back to himself and he traveled around nicely,” Connett said. “I thought the filly ran well. She was a little further back and didn’t have a clear path through, but she rallied pretty good. The winner ran nicely.”
Eternal Hope, who returned $4 for a $2 win bet as the even-money mutuel favorite, is out of the Dubawi mare Voice of Truth, who is a half-sister to multiple group-winner and sire Rio de La Plata. She banked $192,500 in victory while improving her record to 6-3-0-2.
The Jockey Club Oaks is the final leg of the Fasig-Tipton Fillies Turf Triple series, which began with Aspen Grove’s victory in the 10-furlong Grade 1, $500,000 Fasig-Tipton Belmont Oaks Invitational on July 8 at Belmont Park and saw Elusive Princess capture the middle leg in the 1 3/16-mile Grade 1, $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Oaks Invitational on August 4 at Saratoga Race Course.
Sacred Wish receives career-best 90 BSF for Winter Memories victory; Crimson Advocate works at Saratoga
Black Type Thoroughbreds, Swinbank Stables, Steve Adkisson, Christopher Dunn and Anthony Spinazzola’s Sacred Wish earned a career-high 90 Beyer Speed Figure for a successful turf debut in Friday’s $135,000 Winter Memories, a one-mile turf test for sophomore fillies, at Belmont at the Big A.
Trained by George Weaver, the daughter of Not This Time pounced from 3 1/2 lengths off-the-pace under Hall of Famer John Velazquez to draw off in the stretch in tandem with the New York-bred Silver Skillet, digging in gamely to fend off her rival and post the 1 1/4-length score in a final time of 1:35.46.
“She’s good and came out of the race well,” said Weaver. “You never know until you take them out there. We had worked her on the turf and the riders who were on her on the turf said she liked it. Johnny rode a great race and he got her settled in behind the pace saving ground on the fence. He tipped out and went after it when it was time. Johnny worked out a beautiful trip on her. I was happy watching the race from start to finish.”
Sacred Wish, who finished a close second in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks on dirt, now has plenty of options moving forward on both dirt and turf, but Weaver said he is inclined to keep the dark bay on grass for the time being, with potential targets including the nine-furlong Grade 2, $200,000 Sands Point on October 14 here.
“My instinct would be to stay on the grass,” said Weaver. “I think she looks better on the grass and it was pretty promising. She’s done some good things on the dirt, but I’m tempted to stay on the grass for her next start at least. There’s several options – the Sands Point, the Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland or the Valley View at Keeneland. We’ll decide after we get her back out there.”
Weaver reported R.A. Hill Stable, Swinbank Stables, BlackRidge Stables and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Group 2 Queen Mary-winner Crimson Advocate, who returned to the work tab on September 3 after a summer freshening, has resumed training with aplomb as she prepares for a start in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on November 3 at Santa Anita Park. The daughter of Nyquist worked again on Sunday over Saratoga Race Course’s Oklahoma turf training track, covering a half-mile in 50.60 seconds.
“She’s better than ever,” Weaver said. “She’s put on weight and is just doing great. She came back great from her breather.”
Bregman Family Racing and WWBD’s No Nay Mets is also expected to represent Weaver at the Breeders’ Cup off a strong 3 1/4-length victory in the Rosies on September 9 at Colonial Downs. The son of No Nay Never has won 3-of-4 starts, including the Tyro on July 30 at Monmouth Park and the Royal Palm Juvenile on debut in May at Gulfstream Park.
“He’s doing very well,” said Weaver. “We’re proud of him.”
On Thursday at Belmont at the Big A, Weaver enjoyed a second-out maiden victory from the New York-bred Aggelos the Great, who stalked and pounced to a one-length score against fellow state-breds sprinting six furlongs on the main track for owner and NCAA basketball coach Rick Pitino’s RAP Racing.
Weaver said he is considering wheeling the son of City of Light back in the seven-furlong Bertram F. Bongard for state-breds on September 24.
“He’s a big good-looking horse and ran well first out and came back to run even better second out,” said Weaver. “I’m tempted to run him in the Bongard on short rest, but I’ll talk with Rick Pitino about that and it might be a thing where we enter and take a look. He’s a real rugged, sturdy horse and he could take running back on short rest.”
One other stakes contender for Weaver in the coming weeks at Belmont at the Big A is R.A. Hill Stable, BlackRidge Stables, Swinbank Stables, Big Tufff Stables and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Amidst Waves, who is eyeing the six-furlong Grade 3, $150,000 Matron on October 8. The Midshipman juvenile was a nose winner of the 5 1/2-furlong Bolton Landing on August 20 at Saratoga, adding to her first stakes victory in Monmouth’s Colleen on July 29.
“She’s doing very well and will run in the Matron,” said Weaver, “I never had any doubts in the Bolton Landing. She was a winner the whole way and I knew it. She does have class and quality, and she’s taken well to her lessons and understands what we want her to do in the afternoons.”
Weaver added that John Ropes’ Grade 2-winning Florida homebred Dorth Vader will not return to race again this year as she targets a return for a 4-year-old campaign, while R.A. Hill Stable, Black Type Thoroughbreds, Rock Ridge Racing, BlackRidge Stables and James Brown’s Grade 2 Ruffian-winner Pass the Champagne worked on Sunday for the second time since finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps on June 10, covering three-eighths in 38.66 over the Oklahoma dirt.
“She got sick in August and had a fever,” Weaver said of Pass the Champagne. “She missed 10 or 11 days and she’s been a little slow getting back in the swing of things, but we were pleased with her work today and we’ll take it a step at a time and see where it leads us.”
G1 Champagne, $150K Nashua within realm of possibility for maiden winner Private Desire
A strong performance from second-out maiden winner Private Desire on Saturday at Belmont at the Big A will likely warrant an effort at stakes level, with the bay Constitution colt being a potential candidate for either the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne on October 7 or the listed $150,000 Nashua on November 5 – both going a one-turn mile for 2-year-olds over the Aqueduct main track.
Owned by Stephen Brunetti, Jr. – the son of Red Oak Stable owner Stephen Brunetti – and trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, Private Desire was a 1 1/4-length winner of a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Belmont at the Big A to kick off Saturday’s program. There, he broke sharply from his outermost post 7 under Hall of Famer Javier Castellano and engaged with post time favorite Hurricane Nelson on the front end. He took command midway down the backstretch with Hurricane Nelson switching to his outside in attempt to re-rally, but Private Desire kicked clear to victory and completed the distance in 1:16.68. The win produced a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.
Private Desire was a $350,000 acquisition at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He is out of graded stakes placed Wildcat Heir broodmare Brahms Cat, who is out of the graded stakes-placed Wildcat Heir mare Brahms Cat.
“We’re pleased with his effort and with the colt. We’ve liked him all along,” said Rick Sacco – racing manager for the Brunetti family. “He’s a beautiful horse with a beautiful pedigree. When we bought him at Keeneland as a yearling, we paid good money for the horse. I think his pedigree and the way he looks fit the bill.”
Private Desire exited a key debut race on July 29 at Saratoga, where he finished fourth behind victorious Seize the Grey – a colt for Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas who finished fourth in Saturday’s Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs – as well as Grade 1 Kentucky Derby winner Mage’s half-brother Dornoch and the Chad Brown-trained next-out maiden winner Global Perspective.
“His first race at Saratoga was a good race. Lukas’ horse won and the second horse is the half to Mage, the third horse of Chad’s came back and won. It was a very tough maiden heat at Saratoga,” Sacco said. “Javier got off the horse and said to Todd, ‘I really want to ride this horse back.’ So he got positive feedback from Javier and our camp always liked him. After his first race, he really put it all together. He put in some very solid breezes and we skipped a race at Saratoga to point for this race. When the form came out, we kind of knew that he was the lone speed of the race. There were some unknown soldiers in there with some high price tags, but this horse has shown all along that he has very good speed.”
Sacco commented that Private Desire trained with some of Pletcher’s promising 2-year-olds this summer.
“It’s like playing for the University of Alabama – one All-American after another,” Sacco said of Pletcher’s loaded stable. “He put in a string of good breezes and we were very confident going into the race that he would run well based off his first race. What Javier did was pretty remarkable, he took it to that speed horse and dropped over on him. We expected he would engage him and kind of sit off that horse, but we didn’t expect him to drop over in front of him and turn it into a sprint after he did that. The gallop out in his race yesterday was extraordinary. We’re pleased with everything. It’s always a fun time when you have a well-bred 2-year-old in the barn.”
Sacco said he will discuss Private Desire’s next start with Pletcher.
“I’m going to talk to Todd. The Nashua is Breeders’ Cup weekend and right now everyone is excited after the big win,” said Sacco. “The Champagne is a little quick back for our liking, but we’re going to talk about it.”
Sacco went on to talk about Brunetti, Jr. – a recent graduate at the University of Kentucky, who is slated to carry on his family’s legacy.
“He’s a young guy that’s getting into the game. He loves the horse racing business. He’s one of the younger generation guys that’s getting involved and he wants to carry on the tradition of the Brunetti family in horseracing,” Sacco said. “It was a slight change in the silks. The sleeves have chevrons on them instead of hoops and the son is going to carry the banner of Red Oak Farm, so the cap had ‘ROF’ instead of ‘ROS' for Red Oak Stable.”
Davis secures more Grade 1 success with Summer winner Carson’s Run
Jockey Dylan Davis earned his second career Grade 1 victory when shipping to Canada to pilot West Point Thoroughbreds and Steven Bouchey’s Carson’s Run to victory in the $600,000 Summer for juveniles going one mile at Woodbine Racetrack.
Carson’s Run, a chestnut son of Cupid, was last-of-9 early on, gradually making up ground through each point of call en route to a 2 1/4-length score which produced an 80 Beyer Speed Figure. Piloted by Davis through all three of his starts, Carson’s Run entered from a narrow runner-up effort in the Grade 3 With Anticipation on August 31 at Saratoga Race Course and was previously a debut winner on July 29 going 1 1/16 miles over the Spa inner turf.
The victory came nearly two years after Davis made the trek to Woodbine to pilot Mutamakina to a score in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor. Like Carson’s Run, Mutamakina also was conditioned by Christophe Clement.
“Christophe Clement and his team have been very good to me, giving me opportunities to get it done, including both Grade 1 winners at Woodbine. I love Woodbine, they have a great course,” Davis said. “Carson ran great. He was able to sit back off the pack off a pretty moderate pace and save all the ground. Once I turned out, he kicked on impressively. With every start, he’s been improving. He’s learning his ways and learning what to do out there.”
Davis said he has been figuring the horse out through each start.
“Even for us, we’re learning as we go because he’s still a young horse,” Davis said. “When he gets next to horses or in between horses, he gets a little shy where he doesn’t quite level off and use everything he has. We wanted to try to go to the outside and give him one nice run and he ran huge. I think he liked that the best. He was by himself and was able to keep focus all the way to the wire.”
The victory came two weeks after Davis piloted the Clement-trained Parnac to a wire-to-wire upset score in the Grade 2 Flower Bowl at Saratoga. One week before that, Davis and Clement teamed up to capture the New York-bred Yaddo with Robert Evans’ homebred New Ginya.
“Christophe has been giving me a lot of opportunities on the big stage and I’m happy to be getting it done. We just keep building off of that,” Davis said.
Carson’s Run is named in honor of Carson Jost, who was born with the rare genetic disorder Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. Carson is the son of Wade Jost, a former classmate of West Point Thoroughbreds’ founder Terry Finley at the United States Military Academy.
Davis said he would like to meet Carson’s Run’s namesake, possibly when the horse contests the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on November 3 at Santa Anita. Carson’s Run earned an automatic entry into the Juvenile Turf when conquering the Summer – a “Win And You’re In” qualifier.
“Any Breeders’ Cup mount is special, but I think we’re coming in with a really good one,” Davis said. “It’s very special to name a horse after Carson and what he has going on. It makes it more meaningful and special. Hopefully I can meet him at the Breeders’ Cup and maybe get it done there.”
Clement’s assistant trainer Christophe Lorieul saddled Carson’s Run for Saturday’s win, and praised Davis for executing a quality ride.
“It was a very good race and a very good ride from Dylan,” Lorieul said. “They went a touch quick up front and he was at the back of the pack. The only instructions were not to go in between horses and try to make a clear run from the quarter-pole to the wire, which he did. He ran really well.”