Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will be well
represented at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Saturday’s gala
program after shipping one well-established filly for the Grade III Rachel Alexandra Stakes and a colt with a lot of promise for the Grade II Risen Star Stakes.
Photo: Benoit Photos
Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings’ sophomore Smart Strike filly Streaming and Mike Pegram et al.’s 3-year-old Any Given Saturday colt Hoppertunity arrived Wednesday at the Crescent City oval under the care of longtime Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way both of them have adapted to the
track here,” said Barnes during training hours Friday morning. “I
expect both of them will run good races tomorrow.”
Streaming broke her maiden at first asking last November and then captured the Grade I Hollywood Starlet by 1 ½ lengths Dec. 7. She missed by a half-length when the runner-up in her sophomore bow Feb. 1 in Santa Anita’s Grade I Las Virgenes but raced wide, finished willingly and should appreciate the added sixteenth of the Rachel Alexandra.
Hoppertunity is less experienced, having broken his maiden by three
lengths in his second and most recent start Jan. 30, but Barnes speaks
highly of both of them.
“You never know how they’re going to handle a new surface in a race,”
said Barnes, “but the colt has a very good mind and I’m really very
confident he’s going to run very well and surprise a lot of people.
“Also, I think they both are enjoying the cooler weather today,” said
Barnes. “They both got a little warm yesterday but they’re used to
that warmer weather. It’s like the weather in California, but today
when it’s a little cooler, I think they like that. The cooler weather
seems to have freshened them both up a little bit.”