Also on Monday, Dynaforce and Hostess lead a field of seven fillies and mares in the 13th edition of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Glens Falls Handicap at 1 3/8 miles over the turf course.
Along with the two stakes races, the historic track will offer free grandstand and clubhouse admission as part of Saratoga’s Fan Appreciation Day. Reserve seating is still in effect at $10 for each clubhouse seat and $6 for each grandstand seat.
“I thought we had a great meet; it has been a fantastic summer,” Harty said. “We won two graded stake races and finished third in two others, and we (had) two more shots (over the weekend).”
Desert Party leads the parade of pricey juveniles in the Hopeful as the $2.1 million sale topper at the Fasig-Tipton Calder two-year-olds in training sale. Munnings was not far behind, having cost Coolmore $1.7 million as the second highest priced horse at the Calder two-year-old sale.
“There’s a lot of risk involved,” Harty said. “(The purchase price) makes it worthwhile if he wins. He’s by a hot sire (2002 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry) and he has been working well. Right now, it looks like he is capable of winning these types of races. Two days prior to the race (Hopeful), it looks like he’s worth the money. If he wins on Monday, he’s worth a lot more.”
Desert Party’s two career wins have been impressive, if not easily achieved. In his debut at Arlington Park, he pulled off the difficult feat of winning a 4½-furlong maiden from post No. 10, drawing off for the 3 ¾-length victory in 51.97. In the six-furlong Sanford, he was taken back early by jockey Edgar Prado after being pinned on the inside, then came through on the rail for the 3¼-length victory in 1:12.23.
“He had to overcome adversity in both races,” Harty said. “He ran four and a half furlongs from a bad post and won. He was impressive in the Sanford with that trouble trip where they tried to keep him pinned on the fence.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher is looking for his second Hopeful victory with Munnings, who got the Saratoga spotlight within the first week of the meet by winning his debut by four and one-quarter lengths while covering six furlongs in a quick 1:09.84.
Pletcher knows the Hopeful will be a challenging task for Munnings as he jumps from the maiden ranks to a Grade 1 stake. However, Pletcher believes the son of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Speightstown can compete at this level.
“This is a big step forward going from a maiden race to a Grade 1 race,” he said. “We are asking a lot from him because we do think a lot of him. Everything has been going according to our plans. He’s very a good-looking colt and he’s by a fashionable young sire.”
After winning his first Hopeful two years ago with Circular Quay for Tabor, Pletcher said he learned something about winning this historic race: “It takes a good horse to win the Hopeful. We know that. We are excited about running. We have high hopes.”
Also in the Hopeful field are Grade 2 Saratoga Special runner up Break Water Edison, Sanford third-place finisher Vineyard Haven, highly-regarded Notonthesamepage, recent Saratoga maiden winners Cognito and Cribnote, and Medaglia d’Onore.
In the Glens Falls Handicap, Dynaforce is trying to get her first win in North America following two game finishes for owner Dr. John Chandler and Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
In her most recent start here at Saratoga, the Grade 1 Diana, Dynaforce stalked the pace before yielding late to Forever Together. That was her second start in the United States after being beaten a neck by Mauralakana in the Grade 2 New York at Belmont Park.
The field for Monday’s Grade 1, $250,000 Three Chimneys Hopeful
PP HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY WEIGHT
1 Break Water Edison John Kimmel Kent Desormeaux 120
2 Desert Party Edgar Prado Eoin Harty 120
3 Cognito Steve Asmussen Shaun Bridgmohan 120
4 Munnings Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 120
5 Vineyard Haven Robert Frankel Alan Garcia 120
6 Medaglia d’Onore Jamie Sanders Channing Hill 120
7 Notonthesamepage Wesley Ward Elvis Trujillo 120
8 Cribnote Richard Violette Jr. Rajiv Maragh 119
The field for Monday’s Grade 3, $100,000-added Glens Falls Handicap
PP HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY WEIGHT
1 Tejida Michael Matz Robby Albarado 116
2 Jade Queen Todd Pletcher John Velasquez 115
3 Dynaforce Bill Mott Kent Desormeaux 118
4 Hostess H. James Bond Rajiv Maragh 119
5 Lamentation Marco Gasparini Channing Hill 115
6 Palmilla Jonathan Sheppard Edgar Prado 117
7 Dyna’s Lassie Paul Douglas Fout Eibar Coa 116