Robert Baker and William Mack’s Sporting Chance made jockey Luis Saez work extra hard to hit the wire first in Monday’s Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes. The 2-year-old son of Tiznow was a length in front with 100 yards to run when he shifted suddenly toward the outside. Saez quickly righted himself in the saddle and straightened out his colt, who hung on to win by a tight margin over Free Drop Billy at the wire. An inquiry and jockey’s objection resulted in no change. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Sporting Chance covered seven furlongs over Saratoga’s “good” main track in 1:23.71.
Sporting Chance was quick out of the starting gate, only be be immediately joined by National Flag on his inside. Saez convinced his colt to sit just off the leader’s saddle cloth through a first quarter in :22.50. Tracking the leading duo were Firenze Fire, Psychoanalyze and Givemeaminit in a tightly bunched group.
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