Updated on 09/15/2011 1:55PM

Saratoga's Hopeful produces great stallions


LAS VEGAS - One of the memorable performances in the long history of the Hopeful Stakes was the 1989 victory by Summer Squall, who bulled his way between runners to capture the historic Grade 1 race for 2-year-olds. Summer Squall went on to win the Preakness Stakes and is the last winner of the Hopeful to win a Triple Crown race. Preakness winner Louis Quatorze ran second in the 1995 Hopeful, while Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Hansel finished second in the 1990 Hopeful.

The roster of past Hopeful winners includes Whirlaway, Native Dancer, Nashua, Hail to Reason, Bold Lad, Buckpasser, Bold Hour, What a Pleasure, Top Knight, Secretariat, Foolish Pleasure, and Affirmed. Notable horses who placed in the Hopeful include Discovery, Bull Lea, Fighting Fox, Shut Out, Tom Fool, Turn-to, Sir Gaylord, Alydar, Lord Avie, Swale, Hansel, Louis Quatorze, and Maria's Mon.


In addition to being a springboard for the juvenile champion, the Hopeful has also been a showcase for high-quality sprinters, and is a race famous for producing great stallions. In 1982, Copelan won the Hopeful and went on to become a leading sire of 2-year-olds and precocious runners. Gulch, the 1986 victor, was a champion sprinter/miler, and has exceeded expectations as a sire. Deposit Ticket defeated Hansel in the 1990 Hopeful, and his runners possess high speed and are very effective at 2. The following year, Salt Lake won the Hopeful with Caller I.D. third. Both runners have become known as speed sires. Dehere swept all the 2-year-old stakes races for colts at Saratoga in the summer of 1993, including the Hopeful. Underrated as a stallion in this country, he is one of many stallions who were exported to Japan. Hennessy was from the very talented crop of 1993, and he defeated Louis Quatorze and Maria's Mon in the 1995 Hopeful and is now a successful sire.

Smoke Glacken, winner of the 1996 Hopeful over subsequent Champagne Stakes winner Ordway, became a champion sprinter at 3. Smoke Glacken is among this year's leading freshman sires, with three stakes winners. Favorite Trick won the 1997 Hopeful en route to his Horse of the Year title at 2, and his first crop races next year.

A look at this year's contenders:

* CAME HOME (Gone West-Nice Assay, by Clever Trick). Winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship, Came Home is one of two colts in the prospective field by Gone West, a superior source of high speed on dirt and turf. Came Home is a half-brother to the stakes-winning sprinter A.P. Assay, and his pedigree is perfectly suited to seven furlongs.

* ESSENCE OF DUBAI (Pulpit-Epitome, by Summing). Finally, a Godolphin colt who is bred for next year's Triple Crown. Former Derby contestants for Godolphin (Worldly Manner, Curule, China Visit, and Express Tour) were ill-bred to handle 1 1/4 miles, but Essence of Dubai has a pedigree profile full of stamina influences. By promising first-crop sire Pulpit, this colt is out of champion juvenile filly Epitome, and is a half-brother to stakes winners Danjur and Faltaat. His second dam is a half-sister to European champion sprinter and sire, Green Forest.

* JUMP START (A.P. Indy-Steady Cat, by Storm Cat). Winner of the Saratoga Special, Jump Start has the kind of pedigree that could take him to next year's classics. His stakes-placed dam is a full sister to stakes winner Apollo Cat and a half-sister to stakes-placed Union City. Jump Start's second dam, Hopespringsforever, is a full sister to Miswaki.

* MAYAKOVSKY (Matty G-Joy to Raise, by Raise a Man). He has a pedigree heavily slanted toward speed. His sire, Matty G, a son of 2-year-old champion Capote, is showing great promise with his first crop of juveniles this year, and Mayakovsky's damsire is also a speed influence.

* PROUD CITIZEN (Gone West-Drums of Freedom, by Green Forest). Proud Citizen inherits great speed from both his sire and damsire, but it is his dam and female family that makes this pedigree very special. His second dam is a full sister to champion La Prevoyante, and his third dam is a full sister to Northern Dancer.

* ROMAN DANCER (Polish Numbers-Phalanopsis, by Cormorant). Another colt bred to be best under one mile, on dirt or turf. In addition to his sire and damsire, other speed influences found in his pedigree are Cornish Prince, Raise a Native, and Tudor Minstrel.

* THUNDER DAYS (Thunder Gulch-Mercenary Hawk, by Silver Hawk). Bred to improve with age and distance, unlike many in this field who may be best at 2. Thunder Gulch and Silver Hawk are stamina influences, and his second dam, Up Sail, was a multiple stakes winner. His third dam, Furl Sail, was a champion at 3 when she won 10 of 17 starts, including the Acorn and Mother Goose Stakes.

* WILD NAVIGATOR (Wild Zone-Meadow Songbird, by Danzig Connection). Third in the Sapling Stakes, Wild Navigator is bred for speed, with Wild Zone on top and Full Out as the sire of his second dam.