April 20, 2019

Hogy scores easily on stretchout in Canadian Turf

Hogy (white blinkers) is as effective at a mile as he has been in sprints (Lauren King/Adam Coglianese Photography)

Hogy had earned a reputation in recent seasons as a talented turf sprinter, but go back deeper into his racing history and you would’ve found success in longer races like the Hanshin Cup (G3) and the Presque Isle Downs Mile.

That, and a crafty, ground-saving ride by Irad Ortiz Jr., helped propel Hogy to a minor 5-1 upset of Saturday’s $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3) at Gulfstream Park over a mile on firm ground.

Some nine lengths behind the pace as Blind Ambition and Conquest Sandman burned each other out on the front end, Hogy advanced on the far turn along the inside, swung out for racing room in the stretch and coasted to a 3 3/4-length win in a time of 1:35.28. He paid $13.

Galleon Mast, the 5-2 favorite, finished second with March third. Conquest Sandman, Blind Ambition, Highland Sky, Derby Champagne, and Shakhimat completed the order of finish.

Owned by Michael Hui and trained by Mike Maker, who claimed the nine-year-old gelded son of Offlee Wild for $80,000 at Saratoga last summer, Hogy has now won three stakes for his present connections. Winner of the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint (G3) in his first start for the team in September, he preceded this score with an eighth career stakes triumph in the $75,000 Turf Sprint at Sam Houston. His record now stands at 50-19-13-6, $1,321,837.

“At his age, to get his 19th win in 50 starts, it’s just incredible,” Maker said. “I kept asking [owner] Mike [Hui], ‘I’d sure like to stretch him out.’ There was really no sprint and the five-eighths wasn’t ideal for him last time here so we wanted to give it a shot.”

In the $100,000 Sand Springs for fillies and mares, Joe Allen’s homebred Team of Teams set an uncontested pace and kicked clear through the stretch to win by three lengths under John Velazquez. The 11-1 chance covered a mile on the turf in 1:35.94.

Winless since taking an entry-level allowance over this course last March, Team of Teams returned $24.20. The Jimmy Jerkens-trained daughter of Elusive Quality was stakes-placed in France as well as the $100,000 Memories of Silver last April and in a division of the $75,000 Tropical Park Oaks two starts back. Team of Teams was coming off a sub-par 10th in the $125,000 South Beach on January 27.

“In her last start there was a lot of speed in the race and I tried to rate behind the speed,” Velazquez said. “She’s not a horse who likes to relax, but today there was no speed. We got to the lead and she was able to relax in front and was able to finish, which was the difference between her last two starts.”

The disappointment in the Sand Springs was 2-5 favorite Celestine, who tracked the winner from third early but came up empty in the stretch. She wound up fourth behind the place-getters Grizzel and Island Reward.

Team of Teams is out of the multiple Grade 2 winner Teammate, an A.P. Indy half-sister to noted sire War Front.