July 25, 2024

Eternal Hope invades for Jockey Club Oaks

Aqueduct Starting Gate
Aqueduct turf starting gate (Photo by Coglianese Photos)

English stakes winner Eternal Hope will make her U.S. debut against six rivals in Saturday’s $350,000 Jockey Club Oaks (G3) at Aqueduct. Charlie Appleby trains the Godolphin homebred daughter of Teofilo, and Jamie Spencer will be in to ride the 1 3/8-mile turf affair.

Seventh in the Epsom Oaks (G1) two back, Eternal Hope exits a respectable third in the Prix Alec Head (G2) at Deauville on Aug. 20. The winner of that event, Group 1 scorer Jannah Rose, has won four of five career starts, and runner-up Lumiere Rock came back to record a convincing win in Sunday’s Blandford (G2).

Eternal Hope is a two-time winner, and the chestnut figures to go favored against a mostly unproven group of three-year-old filly challengers.

Juvenile Irish Group 3 winner Speirling Beag is a contender following a nose second in the Searching S. at Laurel Park on Aug. 13. The Irish-bred chestnut will make her third U.S. start for Graham Motion, recording a sixth in the Belmont Oaks (G1) two back after a slow start, and Manny Franco picks up the assignment.

Last Call, who earned her last victory taking the Natalma (G1) 12 months ago, will try to get back into the win column for Kevin Attard. The English Channel filly wheels back on 13 days rest following a rallying fourth in the Dueling Grounds Oaks, and Irad Ortiz Jr. will be up.

Highland Grace will try stakes competition following consecutive maiden and allowance wins at Belmont Park this summer, and Javier Castellano has the call for Barclay Tagg. Quarrel looks like the one to catch after leading all the way in a Saratoga allowance on Sept. 1. Neecie Marie, a restricted stakes winner most recently at Parx, and multiple stakes-placed Stephanie’s Charm compete the field.