Kentucky Oaks 2020: Hopeful Growth enters Charles Town Oaks as backup

Kentucky Oaks 2020: Hopeful Growth enters Charles Town Oaks as backup
Photo: Bill Denver/Equi-Photo

Ten days ago, Anthony Margotta Jr. was optimistic about Hopeful Growth's chances in taking on formidable competition in the 2020 Kentucky Oaks.

Then on Tuesday, she was entered in Friday's $200,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) going seven furlongs at Charles Town Races.

What gives?

On Wednesday morning, Margotta Jr. said that Tapiture filly is entered in the West Virginia race as a backup plan.

The Kentucky Oaks is still the objective for the Monmouth Oaks (G3) winner. However, he added "we want to keep all options open because, as you know, we’re living in a very uncertain time. … In one minute, you saw Colonial Downs, you saw these other tracks, we have to make sure that we keep our options always open. That’s at least what we do here."

Earlier this month, Colonial Downs canceled the remainder of its meeting earlier this month after multiple COVID 19 positives, including jockey Trevor McCarthy.

"We’re hoping that things continue to move in the right direction and that there’s no issues with the Oaks or the Derby this year," he said. "But we're making sure that we protect our clients and our horse, make sure we leave that door open.”

Meanwhile, Margotta said, the St. Elias Stable filly is right where he wants her.

"She’s been doing fantastic. I couldn’t be happier with her. She’s a Feb. 25 foal, which is great. She’s kind of still in the development process, like that teenage girl that’s becoming a woman, she’s transcending into that role. I couldn’t be happier with the way she’s training and the way she’s eating and her behavior."

Hopeful Growth won the Aug. 1 Monmouth Oaks by four lengths at 12-1 to earn a first graded stakes win.

"She’s a right now horse. I expect her to run just as good as she did in the [Monmouth] Oaks. Hopefully, she’ll need to step up her game and run better. But I’ve been doing this long enough, she’s certainly acting like she can do that."

Margotta said the final decision will be made on Friday, but that if nothing changes, the Hopeful Growth team will leave for Kentucky on Tuesday.

"We don’t want to miss anything. When you have a filly, particularly that’s in the zone, and they’re training and doing good, you don’t want to miss any races."

2020 Kentucky Oaks (G1)

Top Stories

Pre-entires for the Breeders' Cup were submitted o...
According to a newly disclosed report from the Cal...
There is no event in racing that offers better val...
All 14 Breeders' Cup races carry their own intrigu...
Calling them his “dream team,” trainer Bob Baffert...