The Grade III, $100,000 Hal’s Hope Stakes anchors the Saturday action at Gulfstream Park. The one-mile heat for open company attracted an accomplished field of nine. Post time for the Hal’s Hope, Race 11 of a scheduled 13, is 4:58 p.m. EST.
#5 QUIP (4-1) appears to be the horse with the most upside in the Hal’s Hope. He hasn’t been seen since a disappointing run in a sloppy renewal of the Preakness. However, his Tampa Bay Derby win and Arkansas Derby runner-up finish suggest serious potential. QUIP has trained well for his comeback and lures Jose Ortiz. Look for him to work out a nice pressing trip.
#8 SIR ANTHONY (20-1) scored a massive upset in his most recent start, the Harlan’s Holiday, over Audible. He seems poised to outrun his odds once more in the Hal’s Hope. The stretch runner has never finished out of the money on fast dirt. Brian Hernandez Jr. maintains the assignment. Don’t let SIR ANTHONY get away again at a square price.
#9 PRINCE LUCKY (8-1) also exits an extended absence, as he hasn’t raced since upsetting Belmont’s Easy Goer Stakes. The Todd Pletcher trainee was John Velazquez’s pick, perhaps owing to his sensational AM works to prep for this. PRINCE LUCKY is likely to attend a moderate pace and could hold on late for at least a piece.
#3 BREAKING LUCKY (2-1, morning-line favorite) is not the most inspiring favorite but has a decent case here. He was a runaway winner against allowance horses at this course and distance before finishing third in a muddy renewal of the Fred Hooper. BREAKING LUCKY is capable of taking the Hal’s Hope on his best day, but he’s struggled with consistency.
The play: $3 exacta 5/8,9, $2 exacta 5/3, $2 win 8 ($10)
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