A field of six 2-year-olds remained with half of them trained by Steve Asmussen, including Gozilla, a maiden winner earlier in the meet who figured to inherit favoritism in the seven-furlong event.
As for Green Light Go, the Saratoga Special (G2) winner who's 2-for-2, Belmont Park's Oct. 5 Champagne Stakes (G1) going a one-turn mile appears to be the next destination.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens told the Daily Racing Form he simply "didn't want to run in the mud."
A son of Hard Spun, Green Light Go broke his maiden July 4 at Belmont. He's a homebred runner for Stronach Stables.
Jerkens, known as a conservative decision maker, figured to have a live runner in the Hopeful bringing Green Light Go back from an Aug. 10 victory.
"He likes it up here. It looks like he thrived up here and it's not a big jump up in distance, but it's got him going up in distance in little increments," Jerkens said earlier this week. "I like that. I think its good for 2-year-olds as opposed to going from one extreme to the other. He's a big strong colt so if any horse can do it, it's him. Running once a month with gradual distance increases should be good."
The Champagne, meanwhile, awards 2020 Kentucky Derby qualifying points and serves as a logical final prep for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to be run Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.
|#||Silks||Horse / Sire||Rank||Rating||Trainer / Jockey||Last Start||HRN|
R. Santana, Jr.
I. Ortiz, Jr.