Jackpot Farm's Basin (3-1) took to Saratoga's sloppy main track with ease on Monday, skipping over the surface to win the Grade 1 Hopeful by 6 1/2 lengths. The 2-year-old and jockey Jose Ortiz completed seven furlongs in 1:23.48, giving freshman sire Liam's Map, the 2015 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner, a first Grade 1 victory. Trainer Steve Asmussen saddled the first three finishers in the Hopeful, with Shoplifted and Gozilla following their stablemate across the wire.
“I think that the day suited him with the post-position draw and the way that it came out,” Asmussen said of Basin. “Those are three very talented horses and hopefully that's the last time they'll run against each other for a while.
“Gozilla didn't get a lot out of his maiden race and he was back in 22 days; Ricardo [Santana, Jr.] said he was blowing afterwards. Joel [Rosario] thought that Shoplifted spun his wheels away from there and it took him quite a while to get on his feet.
“I've always been surprised with how much speed he [Basin] showed. Physically, and pedigree wise, we were excited about him running long and we were surprised at how sharp he was the first time he ran.”
Favorite Gozilla went out for the early lead under Ricardo Santana, but was pressured all the way around the course by longshot American Butterfly. That pair set fractions of :22.66 and :45.84, with Basin stalking comfortably from third down the backstretch.
Basin ranged up on the outside of his stablemate nearing the head of the lane, not giving Gozilla a breather after the early speed duel. Ortiz gave Basin his cue and the colt kicked away convincingly, scoring by 6 1/2 lengths on the wire. Shoplifted closed from the rear of the field to beat Gozilla for the place, while American Butterfly finished fourth.
“I saw them going at it and it was the first time going seven furlongs, so you've got to be a little careful,” said Ortiz. “I just took my time. I could have moved a little earlier, but I didn't want to since they were fighting. I gave my horse a really nice breather from the half mile to the quarter pole and that made a difference. I made just one move with him.”
Bred in Kentucky by Cottonwood Stables, Basin is out of the winning Johannesburg mare Appenzell, making him a half-brother to millionaire Rise Up. The colt commanded $150,000 at the Keeneland September sale, and won at second asking earlier during the Saratoga meeting. Overall, Basin has won two of his three starts to earn over $270,000.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.