Connections Have Faith in Hope in Him in Saturday’s Dr. Fager
Jul 28, 2021
2021 Florida Sire Stakes Series Kicks Off at Gulfstream Park
Mandatory Payout of Rainbow 6 Pool Scheduled for Saturday
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL
– Breeze Easy LLC’s Mike Hall and Sam Ross made a considerable leap of faith when they bought a modestly bred son of Chitu for $190,000 at this year’s OBS March sale for 2-year-olds in training.
Hope in Him rewarded their confidence in his stakes potential with a sensational debut victory that instantly established him as a leading prospect for the 2021 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes. The annual series for juveniles sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida gets underway Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where a mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 carryover pool will also be held.
The Joe Orseno-trained Hope in Him, the 8-5 favorite, is scheduled to meet eight other juveniles in the $100,000 Dr. Fager, a six-furlong sprint that will co-headline Saturday’s program with the $100,000 Desert Vixen, a six-furlong dash for 2-year-old fillies.
“The owner, Mike Hall, and the fellow who picks out our horses, Tom McGreevy, did all the work [in Ocala]. When I got there, they said, ‘Meet us at the barn. We want you to take a look at this colt. We like him and want to know what you think,’” Orseno said. “I went over there, and I just fell in love with him.”
Hope in Him made an auspicious debut in a 4 ½-furlong maiden special weight race at Gulfstream June 4, breaking sharply from the gate to set the pace before drawing away to a five-length triumph.
“He lived up to our expectations. He really did. I thought he was a nice horse when we bought him,” Orseno said. “We took him down here and he trained forwardly with everything he did. He’s a natural out of the gate.”
Samy Camacho has been named to ride Hope in Him, replacing the recuperating Edwin Gonzalez.
Hope in Him’s victory became even more impressive when runner-up Lightening Larry came back to score a solid maiden special weight win June 18. Lea Farms LLC’s Lightening Larry is slated to take on Hope in Him again in the Dr. Fager.
The son of Uncaptured chased Hope in Him in his debut, finishing 2 ¼ lengths clear of the third-place finisher. Two weeks later, the Jeff Engler-trained Florida-bred graduated by two lengths, drawing clear after pressing the early pace in the five-furlong sprint.
“We knew we had a nice horse. I was pleased with his first start. Obviously, the other first-time starter left there running and never stopped,” Engler said. “I thought Larry ran on well and got a lot of education from that race. It showed in his second race, because he ran much better and finished better.”
Engler said he expects Lightening Larry, 6-1, to appreciate the six furlongs of the Dr. Fager.
“I think the added-distance in the stake will help us against Hope in Him. We’ll just have to see, but I know he’s doing really well,” Engler said.
Romero Maragh has the return mount aboard Lightening Larry
Stonehedge LLC’s Gil and Marilyn Campbell, who have won 15 Florida Sire Stakes races, will be represented by homebreds Dean Delivers (4-1) and Cajun’s Magic (5-1) Saturday. Dean Delivers won his debut by 7 ½-lengths June 26, kicking away to an impressive score after pressing the early pace in a five-furlong maiden special weight race at Gulfstream.
“I expected if he ran back to his breezes, he’d run well,” Yates said. “He kind of showed himself, with a couple others, early on in their training. We were probably pretty conservative bringing them up to their races. They didn’t have a lot of fast works.”
Cajun’s Magic, who finished a close second in his May 29 debut, graduated by 4 ¾ lengths July 3 at Gulfstream.
Miguel Vasquez has the call on Dean Delivers, while Jesus Rios has the return mount on Cajun’s Magic.
Alex and JoAnn Lieblong’s Big and Classy (8-1) is also coming off a dominating victory, breaking his maiden in his second career start by 5 ¾ length at the seven-furlong distance June 18. The David Fawkes-trained son of The Big Beast had finished an even fourth in his five-furlong debut a month earlier.
Emisael Jaramillo has the return mount.
Bella Inizio Farm’s Laki Lio (10-1), a debut winner at Gulfstream April 16 by 3 ½ lengths; Arindel’s Merlin (15-1), who has finished second in all three career starts; Amalio Ruiz-Lozano’s Gold Special (20-1), a six-length winner in a maiden $35,000 claimer in his second start; and Joseph Imbesi’s Palimonium (15-1), who finished fourth in his recent debut; round out the field.
The Florida Sire Stakes series will will continue Aug. 28 with the $200,000 Affirmed and the $200,000 Susan’s Girl for fillies, both slated for seven furlongs, and Sept. 25 with the $400,000 In Reality and the $400,000 My Dear Girl for fillies, both to be run around two turns at 1 1/16 miles.