SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y., AUG. 25 -- Deposit Ticket established command early, turned back a challenge from Fighting Affair nearing the stretch and drew away to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $232,800 Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds at Saratoga today.
The victory was the fourth in six starts for the son of Northern Baby-Propositioning, who was ridden by Gary Stevens and covered the 6 1/2 furlongs on a muddy track in 1:16:1 to earn $139,680 for owner William T. Young.
It also was the third straight stakes win for Deposit Ticket, who captured Monmouth Park's Sapling Stakes and Hollywood Park's Juvenile championship in his two prior starts.
Hansel, ridden by Pat Day, was runner-up in the Grade I test, three-quarters of a length ahead of Link, ridden by Angel Cordero Jr. Walesa, Fighting Affair and Three Coins Up completed the order of finish.
Deposit Ticket returned $4.60, $3 and $2.40 as the favorite. Hansel paid $5 and $3.20 and Link $3.40.
Rokeby Stable's Who's to Pay, conqueror of last year's turf champion, Steinlen, in his prior start, remained undefeated in three career starts on turf, closing strongly to carry Jerry Bailey to a neck victory in the co-featured Saratoga Breeders' Cup.
Jalaajel, ridden by David Penna, was second in the eight-horse field, six lengths ahead of Caltech, ridden by Stevens.
With the win, his third in five starts this year, Who's to Pay earned $93,570, the winner's share of the gross purse of $155,950.
Who's to Pay covered the 1 and 1/16 miles in 1:46 to return $4.40, $2.80 and $2.40. Jalaajel paid $6.20 and $3.60 and Caltech $3.40.