Johnny Hop got a stiff challenge from Honor the Fleet in Laurel Park stretch, with the 3-year-old son of Bodemeister holding off his foe to win his maiden special weight debut by a neck on Saturday afternoon.
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A top-five First Crop Sire last year, Bodemeister already has a trio of stakes horses in 2017, including the very promising colt American Anthem, who was beaten just a nose in the Sham S. (G3).
Johnny Hop, the 8-5 favorite in the six-furlong affair, battled for the lead with Counseling for the first half-mile. After putting away the early challenger, Johnny Hop repelled Honor the Fleet to secure the win in 1:11.01.
Bred in Kentucky by Northwest Farms LLC, Johnny Hop is out of the three-time stakes winner Smarty Deb. He sold to West Point Thoroughbreds and Robert Masiello for $350,000 at the OBS March 2-year-olds sale.