Hallendale Beach, FL – Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Hal’s Hope Stakes featured several quality horses coming back off of extended breaks, and trainer Chad Brown proved best at getting his horse ready as Economic Model dug deep to come out of the race victorious.
Economic Model settled early while rating nicely behind the front runners before taking the lead at the top of the stretch. From there, the race was on between him and the returning Irish War Cry who moved along side Economic Model at the top of the lane. Both horses engaged in a duel down the stretch which Economic Model edging clear late to win the race by a length and three quarters. Late closing Tower of Texas ran well to finish third in his first try on the dirt, while Conquest Big E had a rough trip and finished fourth.
“He never let the other horse pass him,” Irad Ortiz Jr. said. “He’s the kind of horse that when he makes the lead, if you hit him left he will get out and if you hit him right he will get in. I didn’t want to have any contact with the other horse, so I switched my stick and hit him right-handed. I just took a hold of him and kept him straight.”
The win gives Economic Model a great start to 2018. He has now won two straight races, and the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope serves as the first graded stakes win of his career. He now has an eye catching $614,625 in total career earnings.
Chad Brown was pleased with the effort fro Economic Model, and certainly knows he has what could be an up and coming colt headed into 2018. This race is just a start to what could be a promising year. Jose Ortiz also felt the colt was ready for his 2018 debut.
“He looked really good and he felt great. He was working great and he was working against Good Magic, too, who’s a nice horse,” Ortiz said. “I worked him like three times and he was doing good.”
Economic Model paid $12.20 to win, $4.80 to place, and $3.60 to show. Runner up Irish War Cry returned $3.80 to place and $3.20 to show, while Tower of Texas paid $6.60 to show.