Archive for February 2015

“Valid” prevails in the G3 Fred Hooper

Crossed Sabres Farm’s Valid won a thrilling three-horse finish in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 7 at Gulfstream Park (VIDEO).
Battling at the start with Mosler, Valid got to the wire first under Paco Lopez, a neck ahead of 25-1 longshot Grande Shores, with the 8-5 favorite Race Day just another neck back in third.
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“He’s unbelievable,” trainer Marcus Vitali said of Valid. “I had a great feeling coming into this race. We had a little time off after his last race. Excuse my voice, I’m a little hoarse. I rode him harder than Paco. I’m just very blessed training for the Crossed Sabres stables. I want to thank all my owners for giving me the opportunity. This is an amazing horse. He gets bigger and better by the day. I’m ecstatic.”
Both Grande Shores and Valid broke alertly and were noses apart through a fast half mile in :45.63 and six furlongs in 1:09.98. The two remained a team into the stretch before being joined late by Race Day. Valid prevailed in the final strides, running the mile in 1:36.35 over fast main track.

“They told me only one thing: ‘Paco, don’t hold the horse. When you hold the horse, you have more problems than not,’” Lopez said. “The break was good. I put him on the rail (and Grande Shores) showed a lot of speed. I never took up on the horse, and coming to the wire, the other horse came back, and I know (Race Day) was the big favorite, but I’m not sure what happened with him—whether he broke good or not—but my horse ran a great race. He’s a really nice horse. He’s always trying.”
The win improved Valid’s record to eight wins from 23 starts, while pushing his career earnings up to $495,697.
The 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro gelding is now 4-for-7 over Gulfstream Park’s main track.
Last year, Valid took the Monmouth Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Monmouth Park and the Eight Miles West Stakes at Gulfstream Park West.
Valid returned $10.20, $5.40, and $3.20. Grande Shores paid $16 and $8, while Race Day returned $3. Confrontation got up to be fourth and was followed by Midnight Cello, Brothersofthetime, Ulanbator, Looking Cool, Mosler, Purple Egg, and Alpha Bettor. Adirondack King was an early scratch. Valid was bred in Virginia by Edward P. Evans from the Grand Slam mare Grand Prayer.

“Valid” wins the G3 Fred Hooper Stakes

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Two of the gamest and most consistent horses around, Valid and Grande Shores, put on quite a show in Saturday’s $100,000 Fred Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The two battled eyeball to eyeball for the entire mile before Valid narrowly prevailed, posting a well-deserved neck victory over the hard-luck runner-up with the 6-5 favorite Race Day finishing
another neck farther back in third.
Valid came into the one-mile Hooper having posted triple-digit Beyers in seven of his last eight starts, while Grande Shores entered the race having finished no worse than second in his last 12 starts. The pair hooked up on the lead right from the outset, disputing honest fractions of 23.52 seconds, 45.63, and 1:09.98 for the opening six furlongs. The leaders remained well clear of the others turning for home, then continued to slug it out down the stretch, with Valid maintaining a narrow advantage and Grande Shores never giving an inch to the wire.
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Race Day, shuffled back a bit during the early running of the Grade 3 Hooper, advanced to closer contention entering the stretch, but could only gain gradually on the top pai through the final furlong. Confrontation, the runner-up to Lea in the Hal’s Hope four weeks earlier, raced well placed throughout but had no closing response, finishing fourth, another 2 1/4 lengths behind Race Day. Valid, who is trained by Marcus Vitali for the Crossed Sabres Farm LLC, completed the distance in 1:36.35 under jockey Paco Lopez and paid $10.20.
“He’s amazing. When I ask him, he responds every time. He doesn’t let me down,” said Vitali. “He got bumped around last time. I thought he should have won that day. He got into a little trouble that day. I just told Paco to get out of there, let him be where he wants to be, and when you ask him to go, just don’t stop asking or he’ll stop running.”
Vitali said he has no plans at the current time for Valid’s next start.

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