How to bet the 2023 Hopeful Stakes

September 2nd, 2023

A talented field of 11 juveniles will travel seven-eighths on the Saratoga dirt in the $300,000 Hopeful S. (G1) on Monday. Conditioner Bob Baffert shipped a pair of youngsters in for the tilt, and I expect his duo to have a major say in the outcome of the deep dash.

Hopeful Wagers

  • $1 trifecta 7 with 4,6,8 with all ($27)
  • $4 trifecta key 7 with 4,6,8 ($24)
  • 50-cent superfecta 7 with 4,6,8 with 4,6,8 with all ($24)

#7 Muth made headlines when attracting a whopping $2 million final bid at OBS in March, and the son of Good Magic looked well worth the investment when winning with ease at first asking on the Santa Anita main strip in June. The Kentucky-bred colt was well-beaten runner-up in the subsequent Best Pal S. (G3) at Del Mar in his second assignment, but the April foal seems to be just scratching the surface to me. Flavien Prat will pilot the bay and have him forcing the tempo from the opening bell in this endeavor.

Baffert’s second contender is smart debut victor #4 Mission Beach. The $400,000 yearling purchase was always prominent in his win at first asking, and while he didn’t dominate at the finish, the top prospect galloped out with good energy and has posted a pair of good morning moves in the interim. Kentucky-bred colt will appreciate the extra furlong on Monday with John Velazquez taking the reins. I envision the March foal to be in the second flight in the early stages of the feature.

#6 Gold Sweep finished second in the Sanford S. (G3) at 3-10 odds following a poor break, but the impressive Tremont S. star will benefit from having a run on the local oval and rates a big chance beneath Jose Ortiz. Speightstown colt has proven to be capable of passing horses in the lane which is a major trait for a two-year-old, and he will get a robust pace to rally into against this field, as well. The chestnut might be moving best of all inside the final furlong for Asmussen.

#10 Be You fell just short at first asking but was clear in second in a very good effort on the surface. The chestnut colt gets off the rail which will aid him in the early stages, and the Curlin two-year-old figures to move forward on the move to seven panels, too. The late foal will be stalking the pace while always in range beneath Irad Ortiz Jr.