Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Hal's Hope Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, January 9 from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. A purse of $150,000 will be on the line for a group of horses four years old and upward willing to go one mile on Gulfstream's dirt track.
A field of six older entries will give it a go in the Hal's Hope Stakes - race 7 on Gulfstream's stacked Saturday card. Post time is 3:05 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all six combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.
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2016 Hal's Hope Stakes Race Favorites
Valid - defending fourth place finisher in this race - Marcus Vitali trained gelding has looked good lately - a win last time out in the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes on this track December 12 followed a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and a nice two race win streak - the minor Groomstick Stakes at here September 26 and the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths at Monmouth Park August 30. He has 11 wins, seven seconds and six third place finishes in 33 career starts and has an impressive three wins, three seconds and a third place finish in his last eight starts overall - competitive almost every time out. Valid hopes to keep the roll going on a track he's posted two wins, a second and a third place finish in his five career starts -from gate 4 Saturday with Luis Saez aboard .
Matrooh - Chad Brown trained gelding has won three of his last five starts ahead of this race - the best of which coming two starts back in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park October 31 with an impressive 105 Beyer Speed Figure. Before that was a sixth in the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes August 30 and two straight Allowance Optional Claiming scores at Belmont Park. Last time out was a respectable third just ahead of Mshawish in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct November 28. Matrooh now has five wins and two third place finishes in 12 career starts and has placed in four of his last five starts overall. He looks for his fourth win in six starts Saturday from the rail. Irad Ortiz rides.
Hal's Hope Stakes 2016 | Remaining Contenders
Mshawish - Todd Pletcher pupil has 21 career starts with six wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He had a three race win streak at the end of 2014/beginning of 2015 including the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes here in January and the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf in February. He has just four starts since - consecutive fourths ahead of this weekend including the Grade 1 Cigar Mile last time out in his only start on dirt so far - November 28 at Gulfstream and in the Breeders' Cup Mile. That result followed a fifth in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap in August and a very good third in the UAE Derby at Meydan in March. Mshawish looks to snap a four race losing streak and to hit the board for the first time in four starts when he leaves from post 5 with Javier Castellano guiding him in just his second start on dirt.
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Mr. Jordan - has four wins, two runner-ups and a third place finish in eight career starts for trainer Edward Plesa. He enters off an OK third after setting the pace in the minor Harlan's Holiday Stakes here December 12 after a disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 William Hill Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park August 2, a good win in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes on this track June 21 and consecutive seconds in minor stakes action - in the Tarpon Stakes April 25 and in the Tamarac Stakes in March - both results on this track. He also broke maiden at first asking and followed that with two straight minor stakes scores - the Juvenile Sprint Stakes at Gulfstream Park West November 8 and the Smooth Air Stakes on that same track November 29.Mr.Jordan has been a factor in every race of his career so far and could be again Saturday. Joe Bravo gets the call from gate 2.
Grande Shores - multiple stakes winning Stanley Gold trainee has 50 career starts with 14 wins, 17 seconds and five third place finishes and had two wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 10 starts last year. He finished second in the Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint to start his year and went on to a second behind Valid in the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes here in February, a second in the minor Blue Heron Stakes in April and a win in the minor Parrot Key Stakes in June - both results on this track. He has been OK since - a second last time out in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Stakes on this track December 19 followed a fourth in a Starter Stakes December 5, a Starter Optional Claiming score at Gulfstream Park West October 14 and consecutive thirds in minor stakes action on this track. Grande Shores has been in every race he's entered in the last two years but will be after his first every graded stakes score. Jockey Edgard Zayas has been tabbed with accomplishing that goal from post 5.
Midnight Cello - Michael Tomlinson trained gelding won the Grade 3 Hanshin Cup at Arlington in July - his best career result and went on to a second in the minor Presque Isle Downs Mile in September. He has been OK since - a third last time out in the minor Prairie Bayou Stakes followed a fifth in the minor Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland October 29 and a fourth in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap in September. He now has six wins, sight seconds and five third place finishes in 31 career starts but has placed in just one of his last three starts overall. Tyler Gaffalione will try to get Midnight Cello his second career graded stakes score from gate 6 Saturday.
2016 Hal's Hope Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 7 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:05 PM.
|1||Matrooh||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Chad Brown|
|2||Mr. Jordan||Joe Bravo||Edward Plesa, Jr.|
|3||Mshawish||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher|
|4||Valid||Luis Saez||Marcus Vitali|
|5||Grande Shores||Edgard Zayas||Stanley Gold|
|6||Midnight Cello||Tyler Gaffalione||Michael Tomlinson|