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Breeders' Cup 2017

Boys At Tosconova Headlines Hopeful

Boys At Tosconova breaks maiden at Belmont Park (7-2-10)
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese

Monday is closing day for the 142nd meet at Saratoga Race Course, but the connections of the seven 2-year-olds entered in the Grade 1, $250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful are anticipating it will just be the beginning for their colts.


Dozens of champions are among those who have won the seven-furlong race, including Man o’ War, Triple Crown champions Secretariat, Affirmed, and Whirlaway, and more recently, Preakness winner Summer Squall and Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex, and talent is evident in this year’s 106th running as well.


Two of the juveniles – the Rick Dutrow-trained Boys At Tosconova and the Steve Asmussen-trained Wine Police – have landed on NYRA’s “New York Watch” series off extremely impressive maiden victories.


Boys At Tosconova, who was purchased privately by Jay Em Ess Stable following a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Kentucky Juvenile in his very first start, subsequently barreled to a 12-length maiden victory at Belmont Park on July 2, earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure in the process.


“His last race showed us he’s got a heck of a future and he’s been training unbelievable,” said Dutrow of Boys At Tosconova. “He’s ready to improve if need be. It’s a very good challenge, and we can’t wait for the race.”


The son of Officer will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez from post position 5 as the 8-5 morning line favorite.


Wine Police’s 7 ¾-length victory at the Spa on July 24, in which he covered the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03 1/5 to earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 90, was impressive, but equally eye-catching was how mature the Speightstown colt was.


“The most impressive aspect of his debut was the way he relaxed and then when I asked him, how professional he was,” said his jockey, Shaun Bridgmohan. “Horses came around him and he didn’t panic, and when I asked him to go, he took off.”


Also representing the Asmussen Stable along with Wine Police, the second choice at 5-2 on the morning line from post 7, is Chipshot, who broke his maiden at Monmouth in his third start and returned to finish fifth behind Maybesomaybenot in the Grade 2 Sanford at the Spa on July 25.


Chipshot, a son of Peace Rules, drew post position 2 and was listed at 8-1 with Alan Garcia aboard.


Todd Pletcher, well on his way to earning his seventh training title at the Spa, would love to close out the meet on a high note as he saddles Repole Stable’s Stay Thirsty in the Hopeful. A $500,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton sales in February, the Bernardini colt was second to Sovereign Default on July 15 at Belmont Park and then barreled to a 5 ½-length victory on August 14 going six furlongs.

“He’s bred to go 1 ¼ miles,” said owner Mike Repole. “If you had told me he was going to run so well at 5 ½ and 6 furlongs, I would had said, ‘You’re kidding me.’ I believe he’ll improve a couple of lengths with every extra furlong.”


John Velazquez is back aboard Stay Thirsty, 4-1 on the morning line from post position 5.


Settle for Medal, who was third behind Boys At Tosconova on July 2, rebounded to win his second race, rallying from seventh for a two-length victory at the Spa on July 31. Trainer Mark Hennig hopes a solid pace and the extra distance will help the Medallist colt.


“The Hopeful will be a tough race,” Hennig said. “I think the more horses with speed that are thrown into the race, the more it will help my horse. I also think the added ground will benefit him as well.”


Settle for Medal will be ridden by Cornelio Velasquez from post position 3 and was listed at 12-1 on the morning line.


Rounding out the field are Nacho Saint, a maiden who was second in the Sanford, and Printing Press, who comes into the race off a hard-charging maiden win at Monmouth on August 8.


The field for the Grade 1, $250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful:








Nacho Saint (KY)

J Castellano


K J Breen



Chipshot (FL)

A Garcia


S M Asmussen



Settle for Medal (KY)

C H Velasquez


M A Hennig



Printing Press (KY)

R Maragh


T M Pompay



Boys At Tosconova (KY)

R A Dominguez


R E Dutrow, Jr.



Stay Thirsty (KY)

J R Velazquez


T A Pletcher



Wine Police (KY)

S Bridgmohan


S M Asmussen








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