Monday September 7th is Saratoga’s closing day, and, as is tradition, the 10th and final stakes race is the $350,000 Grade I Hopeful. The Hopeful is a 7-furlong showcase race for some of the best 2-year-old colts on the East Coast and has been the breakthrough race for many successful horses since its inception in 1903, including three Triple Crown winners. Entering the race from the Mid-Atlantic region are two promising young colts who are looking to prove that they have the talent to become racing’s next star.

Tom’s Ready is a Pennsylvania bred trained by Dallas Stewart who finished fourth, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths, with a strong effort in his first start at Saratoga against maidens on August 15th. He was sold as a yearling to owner Gayle Benson for $145,000, more than twice the price of the average yearling, which clearly demonstrates his value as a young talent. Tom’s Ready was bred by Blackstone Farm LLC and picks up the services of Saratoga’s leading jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. This colt is by More Than Ready – Goodbye Stranger, by Broad Brush and has morning line odds of 10/1.

Sticksstatelydude is a colt who was bred in Virginia by Canyon Lake Thoroughbreds and is another entry looking to prove his racing potential. Coming off a convincing two-length victory in his maiden at Saratoga on August 1st, trainer Greg Burchell has this juvenile ready for bigger and better things. Though overlooked at morning line odds of 12/1, Sticksstatelydude retains Joel Rosario in the irons and can give owners A. and M. Haynes, J. Ferris, B. Ward, and Pack Pride Racing, a glimpse of his ability with another win at the Spa. He is by First Dude – Placerita, by Gilded Time.