Brent Sedo | Mon 04/09/2017 - 18:21 EDT

Hopeful Stakes 2017 Picks

Hopeful Stakes 2017 Picks

Hopeful Stakes Preview

The final stakes race at Saratoga this summer is shaping up to be a very competitive affair and a very good betting race, with five of the eight runners listed in single-digit odds. It can be expected that at least a couple colts coming out of the race will be pointed toward the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November.  

Breaking from the inside post and listed as the 2-1 morning line favorite is Mojovation for trainer Todd Pletcher. He comes in off a win in his career debut, a race where he led from out of the gate and was able to show good acceleration when needed to twice keep the field at bay before pulling away late to win by a comfortable two lengths. 

One with a stakes win already to his credit is Florida-bred Firenze Fire (7-2), who is two-for-two lifetime with the second of those being a victory in the (G3) Sanford Stakes at Saratoga in late July. There he ran just off a fairly quick pace to the first half mile before taking over at the top of the lane and going on to win by one length at odds of 12-1. He finished ahead of Free Drop Billy (4-1) who is also in the field here. He was the beaten favorite on that day, but did have a bit of trouble early in the race and still managed to close with some authority and should appreciate the extra furlong in distance.

Trainer Pletcher Holds a Strong Pair

The second of two Todd Pletcher entries in the race is National Flag (4-1), who was well-beaten in his career debut but came back to win in his latest effort, a race where he ran wide throughout the entire race, got engaged in some minor bumping with the pace-setter three times, and managed to prevail under strong urging by 1 3/4 lenghts.

Of the longer shots in the field, there are a couple things to like about Oskar Blues (10-1) for trainer Kenny McPeek. He's the only colt in the field with a win at the distance, after taking his last start by a nose at odds of 33-1. In that race he managed to get a short lead at the half-mile mark, lost it, and then battled back to prevail at the end.    

    The 2017 Hopeful Stakes goes Monday, September 4 from Saratoga Springs Race Course, with an expected post time of 5:05 PM Eastern. It's race #9 of 10 on Saratoga's closing day card, and you can bet the full day of racing through the Today's Tracks link at most online racebooks. 

    Hopeful Stakes Entries

    1. Mojovation (2-1)
    2. Oskar Blues (10-1) 
    3. Firenze Fire (7-2)
    4. Psychoanalyze (15-1) 
    5. National Flag (7-2)  
    6. Sporting Chance (8-1)
    7. Givemeaminit (10-1) 
    8. Free Drop Billy (4-1) 

    Hopeful Stakes Picks

    • #1 - Mojovation
    • #2 - Oskar Blues
    • #8 - Free Drop Billy
    • #3 - Firenze Fire

    Category : Betting Picks

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