Chart (and photo) of the week: the 1941 Hopeful Stakes

The below photo taken by Bert Clark Thayer on August 30, 1941 and later published in The Thoroughbred: Pictorial Highlights of Breeding and Racing (1964), shows the 2-year-olds Devil Diver (St. Germans (GB)), Shut Out (Equipoise), and Amphitheatre (Sir Gallahad (FR)) out for a bit of morning sun prior to that afternoon’s Hopeful Stakes (6.5f) at Saratoga Race Course.

PHOTO - Devil Diver, Shut Out, Amphitheatre prior to 1941 Hopeful (BCT)

Photo of Devil Diver, Shut Out, and Amphitheatre the morning of the 1941 Hopeful Stakes taken by Bert Clark Thayer, as published in The Thoroughbred: Pictorial Highlights of Breeding and Racing (1964)

Running as a three-horse coupled entry under trainer John M. Gaver, Sr., for Helen Hay Whitney’s Greentree Stable and Joan Whitney Payson’s Manhasset Stable, Devil Diver “skipped to the front and never tired, seeming to like it the farther he went,” winning the Hopeful by two lengths over Shut Out, with Amphitheatre another two lengths back in third. A fourth Whitney entry, John Hay Whitney’s Buster (Bull Dog (FR)) would finish fourth.

This was reportedly only the second time a three-horse coupled entry had taken the win-place-show in a prominent stakes race, with the first occurring in July of the same year with Calumet horses Sun Again (Sun Teddy), Some Chance (Chance Play), and Wishbone (The Porter) taking the top three spots in the Arlington Futurity (6f) at Arlington Park.

There was some controversy following the finish of the race, as jockey Eddie Arcaro on Shut Out pushed jockey Johnny Longden and Ramillies (Blenheim (GB)) into the rail around the far turn, causing Ramillies to almost fall and taking the colt (who was coming off of a second place finish to Devil Diver in the Sanford Stakes two weeks prior) out of contention. Rules stated that if one horse in a coupled entry was disqualified from their placing, all horses in the entry were to be disqualified as well – including winner Devil Diver, who had been on the lead at every point of call.

The stewards ultimately left the final placings unchanged, while Arcaro, who had just completed a thirty-day suspension on August 21 for rough riding at Empire City, was suspended for the remainder of the year for his ride on Shut Out.

PHOTO - 1941 Hopeful S. (NYT 1941.08.31)

The New York Times, 08/31/1948

CHART - 1941 Hopeful S. (NYT 1941.08.31)

The New York Times, 08/31/1948


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