• Ralis

Ralis (Photo : NYRA/Coglinese Photos)

Reddam Racing's homebred Ralis used a strong finish to upset  2-1 favorite Magna Light and win the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes for 2-year-olds Monday at the Saratoga Race Course.

The early pace was set by Magna Light, regarded as among the top 2-year-olds in Saratoga this summer, before Ralis and jockey Javier Castellano made a strong move at the quarter pole, reports ESPN.

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The pair engaged in a duel before Ralis raced past Magna Light inside the final furlong and clocked in at a time of 1:22.30 for the seven furlongs.

Castellano, who was glad Ralis broke well out of the gate toward what he called "a perfect trip", intitially thought his hirse going to be a little too far back. 

Uncle Vinny, who had finished second to Magna Light in the Sanford Stakes but was given the victory upon Magna Light's disqualified, finished third, America's Best Racing noted.

Sallisaw was at fourth, followed by Tom's Ready, Set the Trappe, and Bullet Gone Astray.

Sticksstatelydued was a veterinarian scratch.

The victory was the second in five starts for Ralis, who won at Santa Anita Park in his second outing.

Ralis finished second in the Graduation Stakes at Del Mar before the Hopeful.

Castellano, who is second to Irad Ortiz, Jr., in the jockey standings, is thinking ahead to a possible Triple Crown campaign with Ralis, a California-bred son of Square Eddie trained by Doug O'Neill, saying it is the kind of horse he is looking for next year.

Castellano also had Grade 1 wins in the the Travers on Keen Ice, Alfred G. Vanderbilt aboard Rock Fall, the Alabama with Embellish, the Whitney with Honor Code,  the Lace and the Woodward with Liam's Map.