Kentucky Oaks Contender Hopefaithjoy Hopes to Find Oaks Starting Gate
Kentucky Oaks Contender Hopefaithjoy Hopes to Find Oaks Starting Gate: Even with the Busanda being cancelled at Aqueduct on Saturday, January 10, 2015 due to weather, that doesn’t stop StarLadies Racing and their filly Hopefaithjoy from being a Kentucky Oaks contender. Hopefaithjoy only has her maiden score to her credit but was fourth in her last start, the Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs, behind West Coast Belle. One of the owners of Hopefaithjoy, Laurie Wolf believes that Hopefaithjoy will improve going longer and around two turns, which she would have got in the Busanda. The top three finishers of the race went on to win their next race. Hopefaithjoy would have likely been the post time favorite for the Busanda.
Hopefaithjoy was a 2013 yearling purchase at the Keeneland sale for $270,000 by Frank Brothers, who is the bloodstock agent for both Starlight and StarLadies Racing. The team was really excited about the purchase when they viewed the filly before the sale. Laurie Wolf and her team knew the filly would be good, with her great confirmation and young, attractive pedigree.
Hopefaithjoy is a young filly from the first crop of young sure Lookin at Lucky. Lookin at Lucky was an Eclipse Award winner of 2009 and 2010. He won five grade one races in his two-season career, finishing second in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and won the 2010 Preakness Stakes. In thirteen career starts, Lookin at Lucky only finished off the twice. He also finished fourth behind Blame and Zenyatta in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which was his final start.
Hopefaithjoy is out of the Vicar mare, R Faith Joy, winner of three of her thirteen starts. She hit the board six other times. Her best win was the Grade Two Delaware Oaks. She also won the listed Florida Oaks and placed in the Grade One Alabama, Grade Two Black Eyed Susan, and the Grade Two Fantasy Stakes.
Vicar, Hopefaithjoy’s damsire, was a top competitor in the 1999 Kentucky Derby prep season. His best win came in the Grade One Florida Derby and Grade One Fountain of Youth. However, the Florida Derby was his final win of his career. He went on to finish eighteenth behind Charismatic in the 1999 Kentucky Derby. He did finished second in the 1999 Jerome Handicap (G2) to Doneraile Court.
When asked about Hopefaithjoy’s pedigree, Laurie Wolf admitted she was no pedigree specialist, but did state, “Distance will not be her shortcoming.” Hopefaithjoy has a good pedigree for getting the 1-1/8 miles of the Kentucky Oaks. While Hopefaithjoy is not the best workhorse, trainer Todd Pletcher has been keeping her fit, giving her all the right steps to continue and progress toward May.
Hopefaithjoy is in good hands with the experienced Todd Pletcher, who has been the trainer for Starlight and StarLadies for a while now. Todd Pletcher was able to successfully campaign Shanghai Bobby to an undefeated juvenile season, ending in a close win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Todd Pletcher also had Intense Holiday in 2014, which competed in the Kentucky Derby. However, he was put down due to laminitis in 2014 after undergoing surgery for a condylar fracture in his right front during training.
Hopefaithjoy will need to find another Kentucky Oaks prep race, but if Todd Pletcher continues with her the way he has campaigned previously fillies toward the Kentucky Oaks, Hopefaithjoy should be in the starting gate on the first Friday in May. Owners StarLadies, including Laurie Wolf, are confident in their filly and her trainer.