Hopeful Is Taken by Banquet Table
SARATOGA SPRINGS. N.Y., Aug. 28-C. V. Whitney's favored Banquet Table and his jockey, Jean Cruguet, had a profitable reunion today at the closing session of Saratoga's 24â€day meeting when they combined to capture the 72d running of the Hopeful Stakes.Under the able guidance of the French rider, Banquet Table turned in an impressive performance in heating Willian 0. Hicks's Turn of Coin in the $85,575, 6Â½â€furlong contest by a length. Elberon Farm's P.R. Man was an outdistanced third, six lengths behind Turn of Coin.A burhper crop of 13 juvenile colts turned out for the fixture, which this year in particular was considered a barometer for those 2â€yearolds who may he considered as the best in their division. Until today, it was felt no outstanding candidate for the juvenile championship had emerged.This afternoon, however, with 23,595 fans on hand despite heavy skies, the $7.40â€forâ€$2 Banquet Table established himself as the leader in his division. To reach this niche, however, the Whitney colorâ€bearer had to outlast Turn of Coin in a tense stretch duel that had the crowd roaring.The choice, one of six colts in the eventâ€ wearing mud caulks, was clocked in 1:16 1/5 over the wet, but fast, strip. He was a top contender throughout, racing in the second spot behind Llangollen's First Pretense during the early going and then taking the lead (and holding it) the far turn.For Cruguet, the winning ride was particularly gratifying because ailing Jacinto Vasquez had become the colt's regular rider, winning with him in the Great American at Belmont, last fune and in the Saratoga Special earlier at the local meeting.With Vasquez sidelined, the Frenchman became the replacement.It was Cruguet, who first brought Banquet Table to the winners' circle in the colt's debut in a maiden event last May. In that race and in the next one-also under Cruguet's guidance-Banquet Table had not shown gateleaving speed.Today, however, the Whitney performer left barrier as if jet propelled. The speedy departure was a surprise to Cruguet."He really surprised me the way he broke and ran early," the jockey said. "When I first got to know him he was slow to get under way, lazy maybe. But today he wanted to run from the start, and I wasn't about to throw him down."All Cruguet did once he found himself alone in the stretch with Turn of Coin running on the inside of him was to "shake my mount up."Angel Cordero, who had the leg up on Turn of Coin-he Vras sent to the post as the second choice-made a valiant effort to try to pass his rival in the straightaway."My colt tried hard," said Cordero, who had three winners on the card. "In fact, he got his head in front at the quarter pole. But Banquet Table wasn't giving up."The victory, worth $51,345, increased Banquet Table's lifetime earnings to $110,319. It enabled Cruguet to round out a successful meeting with a big triumph that was worth about $5,100 to him.With all entries carrying similar weights of 122 pounds, the contest catapulted Banquet Table and Turn of Coin to the top of the juvenile division-at least for the time being. First Pretense, who had shown such great early speed, finished last. As for the rest of the field, it provided no challenge for the first two finishers.New York's major racing scene now shifts to Belmont Park, where a 48â€day meeting starts on Monday. The big items on the opening program will be two divisions of the Fall Highweight Handicap.El Rosillo VictorMIAMI, Aug. 28 (AP) - El Rosillo rolled to victory today in the $29,500 Meadowland Handicap at Calder, 3Â½ lengths ahead of the favored Lightning Thrust, with Latin Leader third, four lengths off the pace.Ridden by Mike Rivera, El Rosillo ran 1 1â€16 miles on the grass in 1:42 2â€5 and paid $9.20, $3.60 and $3.