09/05/2011 7:19AM

Spa Babies for Sept. 5, Race 9 - Hopeful Stakes


Welcome to Spa Babies! I'll break down the statistics for every juvenile contest at the meet and hope for a tidy profit.

In past years, I would list the stats for each horse before writing up my analysis, selections and wagering strategy. In order to streamline the content, this year's Spa Babies will showcase written analyses of each juvenile race. Each analysis will include relevant statistical information. Following the analysis, top three selections and wagering strategy will be provided.

Race 9:
7 Furlongs
Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (Grade 1)
Purse $250,000

J C'S PRIDE broke the five-furlong track record when an odds-on, gate-to-wire winner over a speed-favoring main track on July 27.  He'll be tested severely here as he stretches out a quarter of a mile with speeds to his inside, but the Henny Hughes colt looks to have some serious ability.  The last-place finisher of the maiden win needed to ship to Suffolk to graduate, however, and the runner-up was upset next-out at odds-on.

CURRENCY SWAP raced a bit greenly in his career debut, but still ran away and hid from the field in the stretch to post a 98 Beyer Speed Figure.  He seems to own good tactical speed and should work out a solid trip behind a fairly quick pace.  The three horses to run back from that August 6 race returned to finish third, third and fourth with Beyers of 70, 69 and 49, respectively.

HUNT CROSSING was bet hard for his career debut and he did not disappoint winning by open lengths with a good Beyer Speed Figure.  He'll have to fire out of there from a tough inside post position in his first start against winners and the third-place finisher from that August 3 race returned to lose in a $100,000 maiden claimer (59 Beyer with third-place finisher).

I'LL HAVE ANOTHER invades from Southern California. He won the faster division of maiden special weights at 5 1/2 furlongs over the Hollywood cushion track and then was second-best after carving out the fractions in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes over Del Mar's polytrack.  He was second-best that afternoon behind a very promising colt and draws a comfortable outside post position here.  He's fast, but don't be surprised if Julien Leparoux opts to rate a bit while in the clear.

POWER WORLD wasn't able to overcome a speed-favoring track nor the talented Overdriven when second in the Grade 2 Sanford (finished ahead of next-out 62 Beyer winner Jack's in the Deck), but acts like a progressive sort for trainer Neil Howard.  Power World worked a quick five-eighths on August 31 and should be charging hard in the stretch.

CLIP THE COUPONS worked out a nice trip when taking his maiden here on August 13, but another good setup may be forthcoming with plenty of speeds entered in the Hopeful.

TRINNIBERG was part of a sizzling pace before backing up badly in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special.  He may not have appreciated the sloppy conditions that afternoon, however, and has underrated early speed.

VEXOR went gate-to-wire in his second lifetime start for John Kimmel, but may face a tougher early scenario here.
BIG BLUE NATION defeated two next-out turf winners when the upset graduate of the faster division of six-furlong maiden special weights at Churchill Downs.  This will be his first start for Todd Pletcher, but Big Blue Nation is taking a big class hike.

LAURIE'S ROCKET may have the right running style for this event, but the late-kicker has yet to run a fast race on the Beyer scale (64 top).

1. J C's Pride
2. Currency Swap
3. Hunt Crossing

The Play:
J C's Pride - Currency Swap Exacta
J C's Pride - Hunt Crossing Exacta

* Meet record based on starts, wins, top pick (after scratches) in the money, and profit/loss of that day's play ($2 wager, scheduled surface only): 79-16-38 (-$39.30)