June 24, 2024

Quip back for Hal’s Hope

Quip preparing for the 2018 Arkansas Derby (c) Coady Photo

Winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and second in the Arkansas Derby (G1), Quip hasn’t been seen under silks since bobbling at the start and weakening to last in the Preakness Stakes over a sloppy oval. The colt will open his four-year-old campaign Saturday in the $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Originally scheduled to return in last Saturday’s Mineshaft (G3) at Fair Grounds, Quip was re-routed to the Hal’s Hope after drawing post 13. The son of Distorted Humor will face eight opponents over a one-turn mile and Jose Ortiz picks up the assignment for Rodolphe Brisset.

Copper Town didn’t fire after acting up in the gate prior to the January 26 Fred Hopper (G3) at Gulfstream and is eligible to rebound with an improved showing for Todd Pletcher Saturday. A lightly-raced son of Speightstown, the five-year-old registered BRIS Speed ratings as high as 101 (twice) earlier in his career and Javier Castellano retains the mount.

Breaking Lucky merits consideration following a runner-up in the Fred Hooper. An impressive allowance scorer two back, the seven-year-old veteran is still going strong for George Weaver, who took over conditioning of the Grade 3 winner and Grade 1 runner-up last season. Luis Saez has the call.

Sir Anthony cuts back to a one-turn trip following a 25-1 upset in the December 15 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream. Brian Hernandez sticks with the Tony Mitchell-trained Illinois-bred runner.

Tale of Silence will make his first appearance since recording his first graded tally in the Winchester (G3) on Belmont Park’s opening weekend last May. Julien Leparoux rides for Barclay Tagg. Prince Lucky, who was last seen posting a 14-1 upset in the Easy Goer on the Belmont Stakes undercard, returns for Pletcher and will have John Velazquez in the irons.

Completing the competitive field are Grade 3 winners Mr. Jordan and Wild Shot; and Fred Hooper third-placer Fellowship.