FRANKLIN, KY – Michael Hui’s newest addition proved worth the investment, as Hogy held on late after taking the lead to win Saturday’s Grade 3, $400,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Stakes.
Claimed for $80,000 last out after finishing second at Saratoga, Hogy rewarded his new owner with a $235,600 take-home from the purse. Winning trainer Mike Maker had tried claiming the 8-year-old gelding earlier in the year, as well, but lost a chance at the tag when he was scratched.
“I’m a novice and I rely on Mike,” Hui said. “I asked him if anyone claims an 8-year-old horse for 80, and Mike’s a man of few words, but he just said, ‘I like him,’ and that was really all I needed to hear. I have a lot of faith in my trainer.”
Jockey Florent Geroux didn’t hurry Hogy early, keeping him tucked near the rear early on while Indy Hill set the early pace. Fanned into the five path into the turn, Hogy rallied down the lane to take the lead from Commend. He wasn’t home-free yet, though, as he had to hold off bids on either side from Commend and Undrafted before crossing the line first by a 1/2-length in a final time of 1:16.88 for the 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint.
Commend was awarded second by a nose over Undrafted, who was 1 1/2 lengths ahead of a four-horse wall. Indy Hill was a neck in front of Crewman, who nosed out Bondurant, who necked out Dimension. Wyeth, Mikes the Man, and Black Bear completed the order of finish. Tell All You Know was scratched.
The victory pushed Hogy into millionaire status with career earnings of $1,131,927 and a record of 45-17-11-6. He finished second (only missing by a neck) in this race last year.
Hogy returned $7 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.60 to show. Commend brought back $3.80 to place and $3 to show, while Undrafted paid $3.40 to show.