Headlines

Saturday, February 16, 2019
Marley's Freedom 5-year-old debut in the $200,000 Santa Monica S. (G2) Feb. 16 at Santa Anita Park couldn't have been more impressive, winning by nearly two lengths over Selcourt...
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Mucho Gusto set off the pace before taking the lead with a quarter-mile to run and drew off in the stretch to win the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3) by nearly five lengths...
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Justify's historic Triple Crown and undefeated season in 2018 earned the colt both Horse of the Year and champion Male 3-year-old honors at Thursday evening's Eclipse Awards...
 
Big move carries Hoppertunity to Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) win
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Hoppertunity shipped from his California base to Belmont Park on Saturday and came away with a hard-earned half-length victory in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).

The win was Baffert's first in the Jockey Club since 1999, when he won with River Keen.

After a slow pace early, Hoppertunity looked to be at a disadvantage while in third with just two furlongs to run. John Velazquez swung Hoppertunity to the outside and collared Effinex at the sixteenth pole, outdueling the Grade 1 winner in the final strides to secure the win in 2:00.68 for the 1 1/4-miles.

"There wasn't a whole lot of speed in the race other than Effinex. Everybody stayed sensible," said Baffert's assistant Jimmy Barnes, who made the cross-country trip with Hoppertunity. "The most important thing for 'Hopper' is that he was standing good and broke good and he was placed more forwardly in the race, especially on a slow pace, that's probably why he was a little closer. We always thought in our minds that he would like these big turns here, and this big, deep track where he would have a chance to come from behind.
"We didn't run at (Santa Anita). This race is a mile-and-a-quarter. You run in the Awesome Again (last Saturday at Santa Anita), it's a mile-and-an-eighth. The horse wants distance; that was the main reason to come here."

With a probably start in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) looming, Hoppertunity upped his lifetime earnings to $3,562,675 for the trio of Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.


Baffert 2013