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Hopeful Stakes

Saratoga Racetrack Race # 10, 5:47 pm ET, Sep 7
7 F | Open | 2 Year Olds | Purse: $350,000

Saratoga's final stakes of the year features a rematch between Magna Light and Uncle Vinny, the top two finishers in the track's G3 Sanford S. on the opening weekend of the meet. Magna Light crossed the wire first in that contest only to be denied a graded stakes victory when he was disqualified and placed third for interfering with the now injured Percolater. Uncle Vinny never seriously threatened Magna Light in the Sanford and was awarded the stakes score for being able to narrowly outfinish Percolater for the place position. Unbeaten Bullet Gone Astray earned his stakes victory with a dominating run in the Mountaineer Juvenile S. that gave the stewards no need to examine it more closely. The Florida-bred, who is not eligible for Gulfstream Park's Florida Sire Stakes, invades from his South Florida base and brings regular pilot Luca Paninci along with him. Ralis is the other previous stakes competitor in this field and ships in from Southern California to replace stablemate Mrazek, who was forced to skip this race with body soreness.

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Horse to Watch

On Fire:

Trainer Simon Callaghan, owner Arnold Zetcher and jockey Gary Stevens made it to the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Preakness with Firing Line, who was a game runner-up in Louisville to eventual Triple Crown champ American Pharoah, and the trio may have a 2016 classic contenter in On Fire. The son of Friesan Fire used a stalk and pounce style to defeat eight rivals in a loaded maiden race on Aug. 26 at Del Mar. On Fire completed the 1m race in 1:38.77 and was given a 65 Beyer Speed Figure for his half-length victory. In his only previous start, On Fire collected the show check in a July 25 6F Del Mar maiden race when beaten 5 ¼ lengths by subsequent G2 Saratoga Special S. hero Exaggerator. Bred in Kentucky by Golden Pedigree LLC, the bay is out of the El Corredor mare Ba Ba's Bunch and was foaled on foaled March 14, 2013. On Fire originally sold for $55,000 at the Keeneland 2013 November Breeding Stock Sale and then again for $140,000 at the Keeneland 2014 September Yearling Sale. The colt has earned $50,400 in his two starts and could add to that with a return in the $300,000 G1 FrontRunner S. on Sept. 26 at Santa Anita.

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Contenders Speed Figures

2YO Winning Speed Figures through Aug, 24th - Aug, 30th

Horse Distance Track/Date BRIS Beyer
Who's Out 6 1/2f (ft) DMR 8/29 96 83
Sudden Surprise 6 1/2f (ft) SAR 8/28 93 79
Ready Dancer 6f (ft) SAR 8/29 93 85
Bully Pulpit 6f (ft) DMR 8/26 92 73
Tale of S'avall 6f (ft) SAR 8/29 90 81
On Fire 1m (ft) DMR 8/26 85 65
Tiz Love 5 1/2f (ft) DMR 8/29 85 66
El Charro 7f (ft) GP 8/29 83 66

View previous weeks 2yo Handicapping Contenders Speed Figures

Upcoming 2yo Maiden & Allowance Races

Friday September 4

Timonium Race # 7: 4F OC 30000n1x - Jonah was a determined winner of his July 30 career debut at Charles Town but shows only one work, an Aug. 25 bullet, since that victory. Ayyoh had three consecutive runner-up efforts before breaking his maiden over a sloppy course at Penn National last month. Sweet Steppin broke his maiden at the MC 40000 level then clipped heels and fell last out in the Strike Your Colors S. at Delaware Park.

Saturday September 5

Ellis Park Race # 5: 6F Mdn 29k - Aussie Fury and Discreet Move are the only of the six entrants to have raced and neither has shown much ability. Mo Tom debuts for 20% firster sire Uncle Mo and is out of a dam who has produced juvenile winners at a 100% rate. He's a half-brother to two stakes-winning fillies. Proud City is also bred for early success and sports some sharp works for trainer Ian Wilkes, whose youngsters typically improve with racing experience.

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Contenders Notable Works

Bullet Gone Astray: 8/29 - The unbeaten Mountaineer Juvenile S. champ breezed 4F in 47.40 (7/83) over Gulfstream Park's fast course to prepare for a planned start in Saratoga's G1 Hopeful S. on closing day.

Icy Gentleman: 8/28 - The Ironwater Farms Joint Venture homebred, who remained perfect with a victory in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile S., breezed 5F on Louisiana Downs' fast oval in 1:03.80 (11/14).

Motown Sound: 8/26 - The Unbridled's Song colt continued preparations for his career debut by breezing the 4F bullet over Saratoga's firm turf training track in 49.66 (1/13) for trainer Rick Violette.

Mt Veeder: 8/25 - Conditioner Bob Baffert's flashy Del Mar debut winner worked 5F handily in 1:01.00 (13/30) on that fast surface to prepare for the G1 Del Mar Futurity on Labor Day.

View Previous Contenders Notable Works

2yo News & Notes

Aug 31st

• Unbeaten Mountaineer Juvenile S. hero Bullet Gone Astray will ship from his South Florida base to Saratoga on Aug. 31 to run in the G1 Hopeful S. on closing day

• Jockey Luca Panici has the mount on Bullet Gone Astray in the Hopeful

• Other Hopeful probables include Sallisaw, Sticksstatelydude, Magna Light, Mrazek and Uncle Vinny, with Go Long and Greenpointcrusader possible

• Tom's Ready, a maiden for New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, who runs in the name of Gayle Benson, is nominated to the Hopeful but unlikely to race in it

read more 2yo Handicapping Horses News and Notes

2yo Contenders Online Profile

Sudden Surprise

This Todd Pletcher trainee from the first crop of stallion Giant Surprise remained unbeaten and became a stakes winner when he scored an easy two-length victory in the $200,000 Funny Cide S. for New York-breds on Aug. 28 at Saratoga. Racing against just four rivals, Sudden Surprise vied for the lead early, inched clear approaching the quarter pole and pulled away in the upper stretch under a hand ride from jockey John Velazquez. The homebred for Mike Repole, who campaigns as Repole Stable, hit the wire in 1:16.42 for 6 ½F and was awarded a 79 Beyer Speed Figure. Sudden Surprise was coming off a 2 ¾-length debut win against nine statebreds on July 30 at Saratoga.

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Two Year Old Leading Sires Ranking

Check out our listing of the worlds top ranked two year old sires of horse racing . As we roll through the Breeders' Cup and get close to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, you can count on us here at to keep our rankings and race data up-to-date.