Unique Hoppertunity for a Pegasus Renaissance: The week in social media
The first foal by Hoppertunity, a filly out of a stakes-winning Rhythm mare. Photo courtesy of Northview Stallion Station.
Multiple graded stakes winner Hoppertunity has his first foal on the ground, the third annual Renaissance Awards are coming up, and the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) is set to take place this weekend.
Here is the 411 on what racing fans in the Mid-Atlantic region have been talking about on social media over the past week:
Scratches hit Pegasus World Cup
The Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup will take place this Saturday, January 25. A field of 10 is set to assemble for the $3 million event after the scratches of morning line favorite Omaha Beach and contender Spun to Run.
Those two figured best in the field, but now favoritism likely will fall to either Mucho Gusto (9-2 morning line) or Higher Power (6-1). The former has won five times in his career, with three coming in graded company, while the latter won last summer’s Grade 1 Pacific Classic for his top win and finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Other contenders in the 2020 Pegasus World Cup include True Timber, Tax, Diamond Oops, Seeking the Soul, War Story, Mr. Freeze, Tenfold, and the horse famous for losing his rider and running away at the start of the 2019 Preakness Stakes, Bodexpress.
That race is undergirded by a bevy of other stakes, including the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes, in which the Aidan O’Brien-trained Group 1 winner Magic Wand is the 7-2 morningline favorite.
Post time for Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup is set for 5:40 p.m. EST, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. All of the contenders in this year’s edition of the Pegasus World Cup will perform without race day medication, including Lasix.
First foal for Hoppertunity
The first foal for multiple graded stakes winner Hoppertunity recently made its way into the world. Bred by Rick Molineaux, the bay filly was born on January 14 at Peter Alafoginis’s farm in Lawrenceville Pa. The filly is out of the stakes-winning mare Rhythm in Shoes, by Rhythm, making her a half-sister to seven winners.
Hoppertunity entered his first season at stud in 2019, standing at Northview Stallion Station in Peach Bottom, Pa. A winner of nine races from thirty-four starts, Hoppertunity earned $4,712,625 during his time on the track, making him the richest stallion to ever enter stud in the Mid-Atlantic region. His record on the track proved desirable in the breeding shed, as the stallion covered a total of 129 mares in 2019, which was more than any other stallion in the region that season.
By Grade 1 winner Any Given Saturday, Hoppertunity collected eight graded stakes victories during his career on the track. Those victories include the Clark Handicap (G1), the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), the Rebel Stakes (G2), the San Pasqual (G2), the San Antonio Stakes (G2) in 2016 and 2017, and the Brooklyn Invitational (G2).
Hoppertunity will stand for a fee of $5,000 (stands and nurses) in 2020 at Northview Stallion Station.
The first little Hopper! I can’t wait for ours!!! https://t.co/DxvQGeBZ1W
— Chris Brown (@browch05) January 22, 2020
Renaissance Awards return
The third annual Renaissance Awards is fast approaching, and tickets for the event are now available.
The Renaissance Awards Ceremony is slated to take place on February 11, 2020. The event is being held at Guinness Open Gate Brewery US in Halethorpe, Md, and will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST. Maryland’s champions will be celebrated and recognized during the ceremony with awards being presented to the 2019 Maryland-bred Champions, 2019 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year, 2019 Maryland Breeder, Broodmare, and Stallion of the Year, 2019 Maryland Owner of the Year, 2019 Maryland Trainer of the Year, 2019 Maryland Jockey of the Year, and recognition of the 2019 Grooms of the Year that were based at Laurel Park and Pimlico Racecourse.
Tickets for the Renaissance Awards Dinner are $125 per person. A portion of the proceeds will be used to benefit Beyond the Wire, the Maryland Horse Industry Foundation, and the Maryland Thoroughbred Industry Scholarship Fund.
LATEST RACING NEWS
Harpers First Ride, the beaten favorite in the Maryland Million Classic, got back on track Saturday in the Richard Small Stakes at Laurel Park.
With her main rival scratched, Shutupn’kissme controlled throughout en route to a win in the $50,000 Eleanor Casey Memorial Saturday at Charles Town.
Hello Beautifuil won for the sixth straight time at Laurel Park – but first against open stakes foes – in the $100,000 Safely Kept Stakes.
Undefeated Jaxon Traveler and Smart Halo winner Street Lute head the nominations for the Maryland Juvenile Futurity and Filly Championship, respectively.
Saturday’s Frank Whiteley Stakes at Laurel Park is absolutely stacked, featuring 10 stakes winners, among them last-out Grade 3 De Francis Dash winner Laki.
Hello Beautiful, 11-length winner of the Maryland Million Distaff, will look for two straight when she tries open company Saturday in Laurel’s Safely Kept.