04/17/2010 5:15PM

Santa Anita: Believe in Hope returns stylishly


Believe in Hope, third in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes in 2008, made his first start in nearly 19 months in Saturday's sixth race, closing from off the pace to win a seven-furlong optional claimer.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Believe in Hope rallied wide to win by a half-length ovver Valkyrie Missile. Afleet Ruler, the even-money favorite, could only finish third after racing in traffic through the stretch.

Believe in Hope has won 2 of 4 starts for trainer Ron Ellis and owners Mace and Samantha Siegel. The colt won his debut at Del Mar and was fifth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity before finishing third in the Norfolk.

The stewards heard an objection from jockey Joe Talamo, the rider of Afleet Ruler, who alleged that runner-up Valkyrie Missile prevented suffficient room for Afleet Ruler to sneak between Valkyrie Missile and Kanan Dume in the stretch. Kanan Dume eventually finished fourth. The stewards ruled there was never sufficient room for Afleet Ruler to race in that gap, and did not change the order of finish.