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Vineyard Haven surprise Hopeful winner


Saratoga: Hopeful Stakes (G1) 7f dirt, 2yo colts

THE final day of the prestigious Saratoga summer meeting produced a minor surprise in the feature contest as front-running Vineyard Haven (Bobby Frankel/Alan Garcia) took the Hopeful Stakes, the first Grade 1 test of the year for two-year-old colts.

However, connections of Cribnote and Munnings, who finished second and third behind the 9-1 shot, will be confident of turning tables if they meet again in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Although Vineyard Haven was an emphatic two-and-a-half-length winner, Cribnote completely blew the turn, almost running into the car park before rallying again down the stretch, while Michael Tabor's $1.7m breeze-up purchase Munnings stumbled at the start and lostplenty of ground in a fast-run race.

Desert Party, hitherto unbeaten in two starts for Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable, faded in the straight. He had beaten Vineyard Haven into third in the Grade 2 Sanford earlier in the meeting.

Frankel was saddling his fourth Grade 1 winner of the meeting with Vineyard Haven, a grey son of Lido Palace. The victory confirmed 22-year-old Garcia at the top of the jockey rankings at the famous upstate New York venue with 39 wins.

"To win the stakes and finish as leading jockey in Saratoga, that's the best," Garcia told the Daily Racing Form. "It means a lot for my career. I think it's going to be a good push to keep going, keep working hard, and I'm so happy for that."

Kiaran McLaughlin won his first training title at a New York meeting with 17 winners, beating Todd Pletcher by two.

Also on Monday
Del Mar: Del Mar Debutante (G2) 7f turf, AW 2yo fillies

STARDOM BOUND (Chris Paasch/Mike Smith) looks to have an appropriate name after slamming her rivals by four and a quarter lengths.The daughter of Tapit, sent off an 11-2 shot, grabbed the race with a brutal last-to-first rush.

"She's not ‘bound' anymore," said Paasch. "I think she just became a star."

The Grade 1 Oak Leaf at Santa Anita on Septmerb 27 beckons ahead of theBreeders' Cup.

Philadelphia Park: Pennsylvania Derby (G2) 1m1f dirt 3yo

BELMONT STAKES third Anak Nakal (Nick Zito/Joe Bravo) charged late from a long way back to nail outsider Acai on the line to claim this $1million prize by a neck.

Well beaten in many of the top three-year-old races this term, the son of Victory Gallop was sent off a 16-1 chance. Godolphin's Numaany beat just one horse home.


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