When the horses go to post for the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint on November 4 at Del Mar, one of the old guys will be ready.
Hogy is a well-traveled eight-year old gelding that comes to the 2017 Cup as right as he has ever been. In a career that has spanned 46 starts with 17 trips to the winner’s circle with 12 seconds and 6 thirds, this son of Offlee Wild has been very consistent this year. Running well past normal retirement age for most Thoroughbreds, the Mike Maker trainee has 2 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 7 starts in 2017. Maker, a master of taking claimers to the winner’s circle, claimed Hogy for owner Michael Hui at Saratoga and immediately saw dividends. In the first start under Maker’s care, Kentucky Downs was the target and the shiny black grass sprinter picked up his first graded stakes win in four years.
“He’s a horse that shows up every time out no matter where he’s at,” says Maker. “We wanted to run there because we knew he would face a very competitive field and it was a graded stakes turf sprint.”
The competition conquered on September 9 at the Franklin, Kentucky track is a huge reason Hogy is headed west for a run against the world’s best. Having enjoyed a lot of success at the European-style track, Maker knew what he would be up against in the grade 3 Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs with his speedy great grandson of Seattle Slew.
“He ran well there last year so we knew he could get over the course well,” says Maker. “They have done an excellent job at Kentucky Downs in recent years and there are always full fields that are very competitive. That’s what happens when you have big purses. He ran big and was lucky to win in a field loaded with talent. Beating those caliber horses left no question in our mind that he could be ready for a big run in the Breeders’ Cup.”
For those that are scoring at home, the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner was the old man of the event. Also running at the age of 8, Obviously showed the young whippersnappers a thing or two as he raced over the downhill turf course at Santa Anita in record time in turning back the clock and his younger rivals. Last year’s champ played no part in Maker’s decision to bring his old guy to the party this year. For the winner of over 1600 races it was more about what he saw in the recent runnings. The Kentucky based conditioner will be looking for his third lifetime win at these world championships (2009 Dirt Mile, 2011 Juvenile).
“We have got a great owner and feel like we have a real chance in the race,” says Maker. “Our horse is on top of his game right now and that is why we came to Del Mar.”
Hogy will break from post 10 and is listed at 12 to 1 on the morning line. Jose Ortiz will be in the irons.