This weekend’s Horse Racing race of the week takes us to Gulfstream Park for the 2013 Hal’s Hope Stakes for four-years-old and up at a distance of 1 mile and offers a purse of $100,000 on Sunday. Albeit at the time of this writing the morning line odds have not been posted, I believe either Soldat or Csaba should take that role.
The Hal’s Hope Stakes used to be the Creme Fraiche Handicap in honor of the 1985 Belmont Stakes winner, Creme Fraiche, but the race was renamed in 2003 for its 2002 winner, Hal’s Hope, who was a speedy Florida-bred and won the 2000 Grade I Florida Derby, the 2002 Grade I Gulfstream Park Handicap, and the 2000 Holy Bull Stakes.
The race is generally used as a prep race for the season’s first big race, The Donn Handicap, which is run on February 9 also at Gulfstream Park.
First run in 1990, past winners of Hal’s Hope include: Geri (1996), 1996 Preakness Stakes winner Louis Quatorze (1997), Hal’s Hope himself (2002), the stretch running Puzzlement (2004), the...