By Chris Lomon/Woodbine Communications

TORONTO, November 10, 2023 — In the $100,000 Lake Ontario, Jim’s Hope made his stakes debut a winning one courtesy of a strong stretch run.  

Poulin in O T charged out of the gate and took command, as Silent Miracle and Souped Up followed the pacesetter. The lead trio was followed by Jim’s Hope, 3-5 choice Rapid Test, Chasing Trouble and Guns n’ Rojas through an opening quarter in :24.95. 

Multiple stakes winner Poulin in O T was still in charge by a half-length through a half reached in :49.75, but Sahin Civaci, aboard Jim’s Hope, now third, began to inch closer to the pacesetter heading into the final turn.  

Jim’s Hope carried that outside momentum off the turn and struck front in early stretch. Ahead by a half-length at the stretch call, the son of Ami’s Holiday-Blonde Breeze sailed under the wire 1 ½ lengths ahead of Rapid Test, who finished a neck in front of Souped Up. Chasing Trouble, Poulin in O T, Guns ‘n Rojas and Silent Miracle rounded out the order of finish. 

The final time for 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta was 1:45.25.  

“I wasn’t given any instructions,” noted Civaci. “The further he goes, the better he gets. In post parade, I had good confidence in him, and his body language just spoke out to me. He was really comfortable and he felt like a nice horse. 

“It was kind of wait and see, you know, pop out of the gates and see where we are, and I ended up in a really nice spot. It’s such a long-striding horse and I felt the pace was going a little slow, so I took him outside and let him stride out his legs under me and he just finished up really well.”  

It was the second career win for the chestnut, who now sports a record of 2-2-2 from 15 starts. 

Trained by Paul Buttigieg, who co-bred and co-owns with Jimmy Goodman, Jim’s Hope broke his maiden on September 3, a nose victory at 1 1/8 miles over the Tapeta. He arrived at the Lake Ontario off a runner-up effort at 1 1/16 miles on October 22.  

Jim’s Hope paid $14.80 for today’s win. 

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