$46,000 allowance optional claiming race at six furlongs on the main track came
up mighty salty and the New Jersey-bred Hop Skip and Away will also have to vie
against open company. The 7-year-old gelded son of Gold Fever will give it his
optimum effort nonetheless.
of the most honest horses I have ever ridden,” said Pedro Cotto, Jr., his
regular jockey. “There are a lot of good horses in the race and plenty of
speed, but I am confident he’s going to make some noise at the end.”
be no argument from the barn of Joe Pierce, Jr., who owns Hop Skip and Away
with H.C.B. Lindh and has trained him all along.
beat him, it will be just because you out run him. He gives his all every
time,” said assistant trainer Edward Johnson, who has worked for Pierce and his
late father, trainer Joe Pierce, Sr., continuously for 50 years. “He’ll be
16 when he came on the track and went to work for the family.
man was one of the top trainers in the country and I went all over with him. We
raced in Chicago, Kentucky
and New Orleans
as well as in the east. We had real good horses in the barn. In 1958, we were
third in the Kentucky Derby with Noureddin,” he recalled.
and Away will race for a tag of $60,000 on Friday, as will JJ’s Lucky Train,
who was fourth in the 2011 Grade 1 Haskell Invitational and has competed in
stakes company in all of his last dozen races.