May 25, 2024

Spencer bags another graded win with Eternal Hope in Sands Point

Eternal Hope in the Sands Point at Aqueduct
Eternal Hope in the Sands Point at Aqueduct (Photo by Coglianese Photography)

Jockey Jamie Spencer’s two-day excursion to the U.S. continued to pay dividends on Saturday when he guided the three-year-old filly Eternal Hope to victory in the $200,000 Sands Point (G2), held in a driving rainstorm at Aqueduct.

Eternal Hope, who is now 2-for-2 in the U.S. after previously winning the Sept. 16 Jockey Club Oaks (G3) at Aqueduct over 1 3/8 miles, is a Godolphin homebred and trained by Charlie Appleby. Spencer won Friday’s Sycamore (G3) at Keeneland with Bold Act for the same connections.

“I was in Australia last weekend and have had a busy time traveling, but you don’t mind the traveling when the horses are getting the luck,” Spencer said. “The horse yesterday broke the [stakes] record, so that explains itself.”

Favored at 3-2 in the nine-furlong Sands Point, Eternal Hope ($5) rallied from fourth in upper stretch to take a narrow lead a furlong from home and staved off a bid from runner-up Neecie Marie to win by a half-length. The final time over a course officially listed as yielding, though probably worse than that in the deteriorating conditions, was 1:53.56.

“She had a better break today and obviously a shorter trip, so I had to maximize her stamina,” Spencer said. “She was very brave from the half-mile pole because I was just lacking a little bit of speed and I was getting pressure from the outside. She fought her corner on the turn and in the straight, I always knew I was going to win because [she’s an] English turf horse and horses [were] starting to get tired. She was always going to keep going, and that’s what she did in the end.”

Neecie Marie finished 1 3/4 lengths clear of Highland Grace, who made a belated rally up the rail from the tail of the field. The order of finish was rounded out by Alpha Belle, Root Cause, Quarrel, Be Your Best, and Leave No Trace.

Eternal Hope has now won four of seven starts and has earned more than $358,000. Prior to her two U.S. wins, the Irish-bred captured the Oaks Trial over Lingfield’s all-weather course, finished a distant seventh in Epsom Oaks (G1), and then placed third in the Prix Alec Head (G3) at Deauville.

Eternal Hope is by Teofilo and out of Voice of Truth, a Dubawi half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Rio de la Plata.