09/07/2004 11:00PM

High hopes for Hoper in second start


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The promising Hoper will make her much-anticipated second start in Woodbine's eighth race Friday, a six-furlong allowance for 2-year-old fillies.

Hoper faced males over a sloppy track in her only outing, on July 31, and scored by three-quarters of a length over the Seattle Slew colt Slew's Saga. Her five-furlong time of 59.20 seconds translated into a Beyer Speed Figure of 66.

Trainer Dave Dwyer said Hoper threatened to buck shins leading up to her debut.

"I thought the worst thing that could happen was that she would buck them out, but it didn't look like she was going to, so that's why I ran her," Dwyer said. "A race for the girls didn't go, so I put her in against the boys because she had shown me a lot of talent."

Dwyer has plenty of admiration for Hoper, a full sister to stakes winner Honey Eyed. Her dam, Bees 'n' Honey, won two stakes in 1991, the Lady Angela and Jammed Lovely.

"She's a beautiful filly," Dwyer said. "She's got guts. She's always shown that she can really run. I think she's got a good future."

Slade Callaghan has the mount on Hoper, who was scratched from the Aug. 22 Ontario Debutante Stakes. On Aug. 25, she worked six furlongs on the main track in 1:13.80, the fastest of six moves at the distance.

Among the others entered in Friday's eighth race are Bimini Blues and Roving Angel, who were both victorious in their debut in maiden special weight company.

Bimini Blues led throughout her Aug. 7 opener and got a 57 Beyer for running five furlongs in 1:00.20. She is by Danzig, and her dam was a multiple stakes winner of $301,711.

Roving Angel received a 62 Beyer after rallying three wide for a neck triumph at five furlongs on Aug. 21.

Ring City should be among the favorites in the 12-horse field. By speed sire Carson City, she rallied between rivals to capture her debut on July 9, running five furlongs in 58.80 seconds.

Ring City subsequently finished a distant fourth in the Shady Well Stakes, but she rebounded with a runner-up finish on turf three weeks ago in the allowance prep for the Natalma Stakes.

Cute Operator competed without a tag when she debuted in a $25,000 optional maiden claimer Aug. 2, and won by daylight in a mediocre clocking.