Review of Hal’s Hope Stake, GIII, at Gulfstream Park on February 24

The race is named for Hal’s Hope, a Florida-bred who won the 2000 Grade I Florida Derby, the 2002 Grade I Gulfstream Park Handicap, and the 2000 Holy Bull Stakes.

Race 11. Hal’s Hope Stake, GIII. For four-year-old and up at one mile on dirt. Purse $100,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Tale of Silence Julien Leparoux Barclay Tagg 5/1
2 Fellowship Irad Ortiz, Jr. Kenneth Decker 12/1
3 Breaking Lucky Luis Saez George Weaver 2/1
4 Wild Shot Robby Albarado George Arnold, II 8/1
5 Quip Jose Ortiz Rodolphe Brisset 4/1
6 Mr. Jordan Charles Lopez Edward Plesa, Jr. 10/1
7 Copper Town Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 6/1
8 Sir Anthony Brian Hernandez, Jr. Anthony Mitchell 20/1
9 Prince Lucky John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 8/1

Breaking Lucky is the morning line favorite in this race. In 2018 , he easily won a one mile optional claiming race. He finished second in the Fred Hooper, (GIII), on January 26 at the distance. He should be forwardly placed and finish in top three.  

Tale of Silence won his last race the Westchester Stakes, (GIII), at Belmont on May 5. He has posted numerous works at Palm Meadows since early January. He has won at this distance but has only one win out of his 3 race at Gulfstream Park. This is a very competitive field for his first race in nine months. The inside post is an advantage but not enough to finish on the board. 

Copper Town ran poorly in the Fred Hooper. He appeared to be having a bad day. He was fractious at the gate and not handling the slop. He broke late in the Cigar Mile (GI) and finished eight. He has faced stakes competition twice and his best finish was 7th. He has recorded 3 wins with two of those against allowance company. If he returns to winning performance style he has a chance to finish in the top two. 

Prince Lucky won the Easy Goer Stakes in May for three-year-old in his last race in 2018. He has numerous posted workout at Palm Beach Downs since December. His latest was breezing 4 furlongs in 48.74 on February 16. His career record for 8 starts is 4-0-2. He should finish in top five.

Quip had a solid 2018. He won the Lambholm South Tampa Derby in March and followed that with a victory in the Arkansas Derby in April. He has not raced since his eight – place finish in the Preakness. He has not raced against nor defeated older graded stakes challengers around two turns. Last year he showed early speed and the distance should not be a problem.  He has posted several solid works going 4 furlongs at Payson Park Training Center since December. He has a chance of being on the board.

Fellowship ran third in the Fred Hooper, (GIII), on January 26 at the distance. He likes to race off the pace and try his late kick for a shot of being on the board. His best races are from 6 1/2 furlongs to seven furlongs.  He is 0-for-6 at this distance. He should not be on the board.

Wild Shot last victory was the 2017 Pat Day Mile (GIII) on a wet track at Churchill Downs. He ran seventh in his last race the Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park on December 22. He should be forwardly placed but not be a factor at the wire. 

Mr. Jordan is 1-for-18 at Gulfstream Park. In his most recent race the Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes at Gulfstream Park he finished seventh.    He has one win from ten races at this distance. He is not at this class level and should not be a factor at the wire. 

Sir Anthony has won his last four starts, including the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) over a wet track on December 15. He will be stalking the leaders and try to catch and out kick the field down the lane. He should be on the board.

Our Top Three Picks

  • Quip
  • Copper Town
  • Breaking Lucky

 

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