News and STORIES

Basin Easily Wins Hopeful Stakes

Author: Clint Goodman
Published: Tuesday September 03, 2019
Trainer Steve Asmussen had an interesting day on Monday when one of his horses, Jackpot Farm's Basin, won the $350,000 Runhappy Hopeful Stakes (G1), while his other 2-year-olds running, Shoplifted and Gozilla, finished second and third. 

"Those were three very talented horses, and hopefully that was the last time they have to run against each other for a while," Asmussen said. "Though who knows, they may meet again soon.

"We've had an idea going in about what would be next for them, and the responsibility lies now with how they come out of it and how they get back to the racetrack."


Basin, at 3-1 odds, ran on Saratoga's sloppy main track with ease as he went on to win the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes by 6 1/2 lengths. Along with jockey Jose Ortiz, Basin completed the seven furlongs in 1:23.48. 

The race was the first Grade 1 victory for freshman sire Liam's Map, who was the winner of the 2015 Breeders' Cup Dirt mile. 

"I've always been surprised with how much speed he (Basin) showed. Physically, and pedigree wise, we were excited about him running long, and we were surprised at how sharp he was the first time he ran."

The Running

The morning-line choice, Green Light Go, was scratched, making the Zayat Stables and Gary Barber-owned Gozilla the 6-5 favorite in a field of six. He was coming off a 4 1/2-length debut win on Aug. 10 at Saratoga. 

Gozilla broke quickly and took an early lead under jockey Ricardo Santana, but he was pressured constantly by longshot American Butterfly. Those two set fractions of :22.66 and :45.84. Basin was behind them sitting in third comfortably down the backstretch. 

Basin moved forward and came up on the outside nearing the head of the lane, and he pressured Gozilla. Ortiz and Basin eventually pushed ahead and took a big lead, and Basin finished by 6 1/2 lengths ahead on the wire. 

Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables, and LNJ Foxwoods' Shoplifted came up from last to move past Gozilla in the final strides and take second as the 5-2 second choice. American Butterly followed behind those three and finished fourth. 

Shoplifted was also exiting a debut win at Saratoga like Gozilla. 

"Gozilla didn't get a lot out of his maiden race 22 days ago, and in off going he was blowing pretty hard afterwards. Shoplifted spun his wheels coming out of there, and it took a while for him to get his feet under him," Asmussen said. "In having the two races, Basin benefitted."

Jockey Jose Ortiz

Jockey Jose Ortiz spoke about his and Basin's performance after the race. 

"I saw them going at it, and it was the first time going seven furlongs, so you've got to be a little careful," said Ortiz. "I just took my time. I could have moved a little earlier, but I didn't want to since they were fighting. I gave my horse a really nice breather from the half-mile to the quarter pole, and that made a difference. I made just one move with him."

Basin was bred in Kentucky by Cottonwood Stables, and he is out of the winning Johannesburg mare Appenzell. He is the half-brother to millionaire earner Rise Up.

The colt was taken for $150,000 at the Keeneland September Sale, and he won at second asking during the Saratoga meeting earlier. He has won two of his three starts, and his earnings are now sitting at over $270,000