06/11/2010 11:00PM

Gleam of Hope upsets Jefferson Cup


Even when Gleam of Hope won the off-the-turf Cradle Stakes at River Downs last summer as a 2-year-old, trainer Tony Reinstedler thought the colt ultimately would do his best work on grass. That faith proved well founded Saturday at Churchill Downs when Gleam of Hope, with E.T. Baird aboard, rallied to victory in the 35th running of the Grade 3, $112,300 .

Gleam of Hope, bred and owned by A.C. and Clare Asbury, overtook Asphalt, the 2-1 favorite, inside the sixteenth pole before finishing a half-length ahead of 25-1 shot Psychic Income in a field of nine 3-year-olds. Asphalt was third, another three quarters of a length back.

Gleam of Hope, by City Zip, returned $20 as fifth choice after completing 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.61 over a good turf course. He was wearing blinkers for the first time.

"Before the blinkers, he was so far out of his races and he had way more to do," said Reinstedler. "He's always been a solid horse and he's shown that."

Lost Aptitude led early, pressed by Formulaforsuccess, but Asphalt easily took over as the field straightened out of the final turn. Then Gleam of Hope, last past the quarter-pole, launched his winning bid while farthest out on the course.

Gleam of Hope now has won 4 of 11 starts, with the Jefferson Cup marking his first graded win. He earned $66,841, lifting his bankroll to $258,219.

Colizeo withstands challenge, objection

Colizeo, ridden by Garrett Gomez, survived a furious stretch-long bid by Worldly, then an objection by the rider of the runner-up, when capturing the Grade 3, $136,375 as the favorite in a field of six 3-year-olds.

Making his stakes debut, Colizeo held off Worldly by a neck after taking the early lead in the 1 1/16-mile Northern Dancer. The two dominated the race, going neck-and-neck from the far turn to the wire while well clear of the others.

Robby Albarado, the jockey of Worldly, claimed Gomez had interfered with his mount entering the first turn, to no avail.

Colizeo, trained by Todd Pletcher for the Wertheimer brothers, returned $5.40 after finishing in 1:43.60 over a fast track. The homebred colt by Distorted Humor had won 2 of 7 previous starts and was coming off a first-level allowance score at Churchill.

Vow to Wager gave closest chase to the top pair the entire trip before finishing third, two lengths behind Worldly.

Another graded win for Pletcher in Regret

One race after taking the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs Saturday with Colizeo, trainer Todd Pletcher picked up a second consecutive graded stakes victory when the his trainee, Caminadora, pulled off an upset at 32-1 odds in the Grade 3, $145,250 .

Although she had won just a single race from eight starts entering the Regret, it hardly showed in her performance. She raced like a top-class filly, finishing powerfully under a wide rally from Corey Nakatani to defeat Snow Top Mountain by three-quarters of a length.

Though clearly best in the lane, Caminadora hardly looked like a winner in the early stages, racing last of 12 early, as Go Ask Alex raced clear on the lead with splits of 24.04, 48.31 and 1:13.43 in the 1 1/8-mile turf race contested over good conditions.

Once cut loose in the stretch by jockey Corey Nakatani, her class showed, however.

Snow Top Mountain also rallied well from the rear half of the field to grab the second, edging third-place Queen Hazel by three quarters of a length. Favored It's Tea Time was a neck further back in fourth.

The winner, a 3-year-old daughter of More Than Ready owned by Starlight Partners, paid $66.80. She raced 1 1/8-miles on the turf in 1:52.04.

Byron King