Gone are the days, apparently, when everyone wants a chance to win a Grade 1 with a two-year-old before the Saratoga meeting ends. But today’s Hopeful Stakes at seven furlongs has drawn a field of four.

The two “big horses” in here are the accomplished Ready’s Image (4-5) and the talented, over-hyped Maimonides (7-5), from the hottest juvenile barn in Saratoga, Bob Baffert’s. Fans of Ready’s Image should be happy for the hype, which might make Ready’s Image playable. If you’re into short prices, that is. Because that’s where the conversation about the two big two-year-olds end. Frankly, there is no comparison, at least not yet.

Ready’s Image notwithstanding, the other three Hopeful entrants are eligible for preliminary allowances. If this were a conditioned race, the early line choice would be eligible for non-winners of three races other than maiden or claiming.

But that’s not the only instance where comparisons are specious. In terms of performances figures, Ready’s Image is the fastest horse, and it’s not even close. Two-for-two since adding blinkers, he’s a Grade 2 winner of the track and his outside draw will allow Johnny Velazquez to keep Maimonides in his sights all the way. He’ll probably be sitting right off his right hip.

Have to take Ready’s Image to win and will gladly take 1-2 or more. For those uninterested in that prop, a cold exacta with Maimonides would be in order.

Running Totals: (96) 38-22-11. Dollar Return: $225.00 [win selections only]