HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Michael Hui’s 9-year-old Hogy was all heart Saturday, drawing away convincingly in the stretch like a horse half his age to win the Grade 3, $150,000 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
After Hogy bobbled out of post 6, rider Irad Ortiz, Jr., took back and headed for the rail as Blind Ambition and Conquest Sandman led the field into the first turn and battled heads apart up front. Hogy steadily advanced along the rail down the backstretch and into the far turn, but when he neared the exit, he tipped out four-wide and took command, kicking away to win by 3 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:35.28 for the mile-long turf event.
“He’s an older horse and he knows what he’s doing,” said Ortiz, Jr. “I just wanted to let him break and he’ll relax, and he did. At the 3/8 pole, he was picking it up on his own. He knows what he’s doing, and he came running.”
The favored Galleon Mast was jostled shortly after the top of the stretch and briefly lost momentum before re-rallying to take second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of March. Blind Ambition and Conquest Sandman both faded late, with the latter holding on to take fourth by a neck over the former. Highland Sky, Derby Champagne, and Shakhimat completed the order of finish.
Hogy’s win improved his record to 19-13-16 in 50 career starts. The Mike Maker-trained gelded son of Offlee Wild increased his career earnings to $1,321,837. Since Hui claimed him for $80,000 last summer at Saratoga, Hogy’s record has been 6-3-2-0, all in stakes races, with his lone off-the-board performance coming in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, where he finished 11th.
“There was a strong pace up front and Irad saved all the ground, tipped him out, and he came roaring home,” Maker said. “At his age, to get his 19th win in 50 starts, it’s just incredible. I kept asking Mike (Hui), ‘I’d sure like to stretch him out.’ There was really no sprint, so we wanted to give it a shot.”
Hogy returned $13 to win, $6.20 to place, and $3.80 to show. Galleon Mast brought back $3.80 to place and $2.60 to show, while March paid $4 to show.