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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Barnes Says Hoppertunity Can Run at the End


The connections of Hoppertunity will ask him Saturday whether he belongs in the Kentucky Derby mix. There is some reason to believe the answer's in the affirmative.

“He needs to keep running,” said Jimmy Barnes, Bob Baffert’s top assistant. He, Hoppertunity and Govenor Charlies arrived at Oaklawn Park on Wednesday. The latter horse is running in the Razorback on Saturday.

Hoppertunity was purchased for $300,000 at Keeneland. He currently stands far back in 36th place with five points among the qualifiers for one of the 20 Kentucky Derby berths. His picked up those points with a fourth-place finish in the Risen Star Stakes last time out.

“Hoppertunity is a nice colt who is just developing,” said Barnes. “He’s lightly raced. Last time, it was unfortunate that he got shuffled back a little further than we wanted him to be. He was running at the end, but he had so much ground to make that he needed to be another five or six lengths closer than he was. But, he handled it well, and we learned a little bit out of the race. He did show up.”

Hoppertunity, ridden by Martin Garcia in his last two outings, picks up the services of Mike Smith. Barnes will also give Smith a leg up on Govenor Charlie on Saturday.

Edited Oaklawn release


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