Hobeau Farm’s 5-year-old homebred Delightful Kiss produced a powerful stretch charge coming from off the pace under jockey Calvin Borel to capture the $100,000 Hal’s Hope Handicap (G3) Saturday at Gulfstream Park by three lengths over Mitchell Farm’s Bullsbay. The winner was timed in 1:36:13 for the one-turn mile run over a fast track.

A roan/gray Florida-bred by Kissin Kris, Delightful Kiss was making his first start since finishing a game second behind Einstein in the Clark Handicap (G2) at Churchill Downs in late November. Trainer Pete Anderson has taken his talented one-horse stable back and forth across the nation for major events the last two seasons, and had won the All American Stakes (G3) at Golden Gate and finished a close-up fourth in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Marathon at Santa Anita on Oct. 25 before the Clark.

A full field of 14 went to the post for the Hal’s Hope and Patriot Stable’s Famous Patriot rallied for third, a half-length behind the runner-up. Delightful Kiss was the 7-to-2 morning line favorite in the wide-open contest, but paid a generous $12.40 to win.

Winning Jockey Quotes

Calvin Borel:

"Ah, boy what I can say about this baby. He just kept giving me more and more. If everything goes well we'll be right back here for the Sunshine (Millions). I felt a little pressure down the backstretch (so far back), but he found another gear coming home. I'll tell you I never lost faith. This is quite a nice vacation present."

Winning Trainer Quote

Pete Anderson:

“He was extra sharp today, but I was worried that he was too far back down the backstretch. He impresses me every day. I told Calvin (Borel) with the million dollar race ($1 million Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 24) coming up to keep him in the clear and out of trouble. Well, he ended up almost out in the parking lot when he made his run. Calvin rides this horse with a lot of confidence. He just likes this horse.”


23:80, 46:51, 1:10:07 & 1:36:13