Hopping Not Hoping, patiently handled by Jeffrey Alderson, collared Nerve Line in the final strides to capture$150,000 Shady Well Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained by Barb Minshall for owners Murray Smith, Christopher Chop and Katharin Von Gavel, the victory by Hopping Not Hoping in the 6 1/2-furlong turf event for Ontario-bred juvenile fillies provided the 23-year-old Alderson with his first career stakes win.
Hopping Not Hoping, a dark bay daughter of Silent Name, arrived at the Shady Well from a rallying length score in a six furlong maiden allowance sprint over the Woodbine main on July 22. She was making her turf debut, over a turf course rated as 'yielding', in the Shady Well and settled comfortably into third position along the rail as Nerve Line marked off splits of :24.57 and :49.79 under pressure from Reverse.
Nerve Line and Reverse continued their battle through the turn and were full of run down the lane, but Alderson angled Hopping Not Hoping off the rail and persevered to the wire to secure the ½-length win. Nerve Line stayed on for place, by a neck, over Reverse. Financial Recovery, the 6-5 mutuel favourite on debut, ran on well late to complete the superfecta. Hopping Not Hoping covered 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:20.44.
Alderson was pleased with the game effort from his filly in her stakes debut, particularly to overtake the determined duo of Nerve Line and Reverse.
"She set me up perfectly. She was running real nice and relaxed. When we came into the stretch, a nice hole opened up and she shot on through," said Alderson. "She was really seeing those two (in front of her) and she dug in hard. I love this filly."
Minshall was confident in the decision to give Hopping Not Hoping her grass debut.
"Being a Silent Name we thought she might like it. It seemed like a good opportunity and the timing was right," said Minshall. "She's a really good filly and an unbelievably good mover so we thought we'd take a shot."
The victory marked the first stakes win of the meet for Minshall, and she was delighted to share the moment with the young rider.
"I've ridden Jeff from the beginning. I think he's a good rider, an up-and-coming rider. He's won on the filly and worked her a lot. There was no reason to take him off of her," said Minshall. "I have a lot of confidence in him and I told him in the paddock he was going to win his first stakes race today. I wanted to give him all the confidence in the world and there he was."
Hopping Not Hoping, bred in Ontario by Roger Fortier, banked $90,000 in victory while improving her record to two wins from three starts.
She paid $27.80, $10.80 and $7.20, combining with Nerve Line ($6.70, $4.80) for a $166.20 (2-4) exactor. A 2-4-5 triactor (Reverse, $5.40 to show) was worth $690.70, while a $1 Superfecta [2-4-5-6 (Financial Recovery)] came back $1386.35. Mythical Mission was scratched.
Goodyearforroses douses rivals in Flaming Page
Goodyearforroses picked up her first added-money win inco-featured $105,000 Flaming Page Stakes, at Woodbine.
Trained and co-owned by Roger Attfield with Lincoln Collins, the four-year-old Azamour bay went to post as the 4-5 mutuel favourite in the 1 1/2-mile off-the-turf event for older fillies and mares and proved her backers correct with a comfortable score.
Goodyearforroses, who graduated in England at Leicester on October 7, 2014, arrived in North America earlier this year and made her debut for Attfield at Gulfstream Park onwhen eighth in a turf route. Following starts at Keeneland (4th, April 9) and Churchill Downs (3rd, ), Goodyearforroses made her Woodbine debut a winning one with a head score over stablemate Pengally Bay in a turf allowance.
After an off-the-board effort in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly, Goodyearforroses romped a 1 3/8-mile turf allowance by 4 1/2-lengths setting up her facile score in the Flaming Page.
Belle de Nuit led a Flaming Page field of seven through splits of :26.34, :51.82 and 1:17.08 under no pressure at all from the stalking pair of Secret Action and McArthur Parkway. Goodyearfororses, with Alan Garcia up, settled comfortably in fourth position and made her winning move as a tiring Belle de Nuit approached the far turn.
Goodyearforroses took command through the turn as Interject and Dyna's Recoleta launched their bid, but there was no denying the energetic stretch run of Goodyearforroses who scored by three lengths. Dyna's Recoleta, trained by Attfield for owner-breeder Charles Fipke, earned place money by 1 3/4-lengths over Interject. Goodyearforroses covered 1 1/2-miles in 2:32.61.
Goodyearforroses, bred in Ireland by The Hornets, banked $60,000 in victory while improving her record to 4-0-1 from 10 starts.
She paid $3.80, $2.60 and $2.10, combining with Dyna's Recoleta ($4.50, $3.40) for a $22 (3-4) exactor. A 3-4-7 triactor (Interject, $2.20 to show) was worth $56.50, while a $1 Superfecta [3-4-7-1 (Secret Action)] came back $87.45.
Source: Woodbine Communications Office