Graded stakes winner Not This Time had his first winner Thursday at Churchill Downs when his daughter Hopeful Princess scored on first asking. Friday, the freshman sire’s son Swaggy George hit the wire first in his debut at Gulfstream Park.
Trained by John Hancock for Jackie Huckaby, Imaginary Stables, and Donna Hancock, the 2-year-old filly, Hopeful Princess, completed 4 1/2 furlongs on a fast main track in :51.26, defeating Mad Maddy by three-quarters of a length. Patiently running second with Corey Lanerie aboard, Hopeful Princess pressed the pace setter Mad Maddy, an American Pharoah filly, who set fractions of :22.33 and :45.03 through a half-mile.
On the outside, Hopeful Princess ($7.80) came off the final turn challenging for the lead, and although Mad Maddy did her best to hold on she was outrun in late stretch. The pair opened a 6 1/2-length advantage on another American Pharoah filly, third-place Tequila Queen.
Hopeful Princess was bred in Kentucky by Jody and Michelle Huckaby’s Elm Tree Farm, which consigned her to last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale, but she went unsold on a final bid of $27,000. She is the third winner from four foals to race out of the More Than Ready mare More Than Magic.
J Stables LLC’s Swaggy George ($21.40) drew into Friday’s off-the-turf maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds and earned an impressive four-length debut victory.
Trained by Antonio Sano, the Kentucky-bred colt rated well off a moderate pace under Edgard Zayas as Fitz’s Mo set the pace with fractions of :23.77 and :47.56. Swaggy George advanced inside of horses along the backstretch and on the far turn before making an eye-catching three-wide sweep to the lead on the turn into the homestretch. Swaggy George drew away to win Race 2 comfortably over favored Congrats Again completing the five furlongs in 1:00 flat. The Sano-trained Espia closed from last in the nine-horse to finish third after a troubled start, a length behind Congrats Again.
“He had a great breeze the other day. I told Edgard that I really liked the horse,” said Sano, whose main-track-only winner ran five furlongs in a minute. “My other horse is also a good horse. I’m happy with him too.”
Standing at Taylor Made Stallions for a 2020 fee of $12,500, Not This Time was a precocious 2-year-old who won two of his first three starts, including the Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs for trainer Dale Romans. After finishing second in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), however, the son of Giant’s Causeway was retired with a career-ending soft tissue injury to his right front leg.
Bred and raced by Albaugh Family Stables out of the Trippi mare Miss Macy Sue, Not This Time is a half brother to grade 1 winner and Lane’s End sire Liam’s Map, whom Albaugh sold as a yearling for $800,000. Liam’s Map won all but two of his eight starts, including the 2015 Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
Past The Wire Staff
Photo: Hopeful Princess outruns Mad Maddy to win debut at Churchill. Credit: Coady Photography
Swaggy George wins maiden at Gulfstream. Credit: Coglianese Photos/Lauren King