Hoppertunity appears on Del Mar turf in morning workout

August 10, 2018 02:28pm
Hoppertunity appears on Del Mar turf in morning workout
Photo: Joe Labozzetta/NYRA

Given Hoppertunity's a fan favorite from the Bob Baffert barn, it did not go unnoticed when the dual Grade 1 winner worked over Del Mar’s turf course Thursday morning.

Hoppertunity, known for specializing in longer distances over the dirt, worked four furlongs in 49.80, but Baffert said Friday there are no plans yet for his next race.

“We were trying to see if he might work the turf, maybe run him in these longer marathon-type races,” Baffert said by phone. “Flavien Prat, he worked him, and he just didn’t feel like he’s a turf horse. He thought that wouldn’t be a good idea for him.”

Hoppertunity has won two of his five starts this year: the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup in the spring and the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational during Belmont Stakes weekend, both run at 1 ½ miles. Throughout his five seasons of racing, the 7-year-old holds a record of 9-8-5 in 39 starts and has earned over $4.7 million. 

His first Grade 1 win came in the 2014 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs, and he picked up his second in Belmont’s 2016 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Hoppertunity has even made two trips to the Group 1 Dubai World Cup, finishing third in 2016.

As for why Hoppertunity has been able to stay good for this long, Baffert said, 
“He’s a marathon-type horse. He doesn’t go fast early so that helps him. He’s just a steady grinder-type of horse. And we run him in the right spots.”

Owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, Baffert said the group hasn’t thought about racing next year or finding a stud deal. They will wait until the fall to think about it.

Also in the Baffert barn, the undefeated filly
 Dream Tree has been stretching out in her latest workouts, most recently going six furlongs in 1:13 flat Aug. 6. Owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, Dream Tree last ran in the Grade 2 Las Virgenes in February before missing the rest of the Kentucky Oaks trail due to a setback. She also won the Grade 1 Starlet as a 2-year-old.

“We’re getting her ready for the Prioress,” Baffert said. “That’s her next race.”

The Prioress, a Grade 2, six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies, is scheduled for Sept. 2 at Saratoga.


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