Hogy Stays Hot With Presque Isle Mile Victory
William Stiritz's 4-year-old son of Offlee Wild was victorious for the second time in as many starts for trainer Wayne Catalano, who took over from Scott Becker prior to Hogy's victory in the Troy Stakes, a turf sprint on a yielding course at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 14.
The dark bay gelding was an $80,000 claim last November at Hawthorne Race Course and has won four times with two seconds in seven starts since.
Ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., 5-2 pick Hogy completed the mile in 1:36.72 on the Tapeta main track to win by one length. Super Chunky won a three-horse photo for second, with the Graham Motion-trained stablemates Hoofit and Occasional View next in the field of 11.
Though most of his recent starts have been on turf or dirt, Hogy has won five of 10 starts on synthetic tracks. That includes a 1 1/2-length victory in the one-mile Hanshin Cup Stakes (gr. III) on the Arlington Park Polytrack May 25.
The versatile winner of 11 of 19 lifetime starts was bred in Kentucky by Dr. John E. Little out of the Petionville mare Floy.
Mongolian Saturday, who drew into the field from the also-eligible list, went to the front from the far outside post when expected pacesetter Whatthecatdrugin hopped at the start and was left behind. Mongolian Saturday established a slow tempo while leading Ponzi Scheme and Occasional View, carving quarter mile fractions of :24.37, :48.11, and 1:12.09 at odds of 39-1. Occasional View pulled his way to the front from between horses leaving the the quarter pole, and took the field into the stretch with a narrow advantage.
Hogy, seventh for the opening half-mile on the outside before advancing into contention rounding the bend, challenged as part of a close group in the stretch. Mongolian Saturday was hanging tough along with Super Chunky and the New Zealand-bred Hoofit also threatening. But Hogy, four-wide at the eighth pole, left his rivals behind in deep stretch under a well-timed ride from Rocco.
"I wasn't so much concerned about him rating; he has been on synthetic before," Rocco told TVG after the race. "I was concerned because I was farther back than I wanted to be. But speed hasn't been holding here all day. Ride the horse more than the race, and in this case it worked out."
Super Chunky, ridden by Malcolm Franklin, finished second by a nose over Hoofit and Edgar Prado, with Occasional View a head back in fourth. It was a head to Mongolian Saturday in fifth, with Gourmet Dinner, Whatthecatdrugin, Mezzano, Photo Shoot, Alpha Bettor, and Ponzi Scheme completing the full order.
Hogy, whose only previous start on the Presque Isle Downs & Casino main track produced a third-place finish in the 2012 Tom Ridge Stakes, extended his career earnings to $562,002.
Carrying top weight of 124 pounds, the winner paid $7.80, $4.40, and $4. Super Chunky, looking to spring a 14-1 upset for trainer Kenneth Cox, returned $11.20 and $6.40 while rounding out a $106.60 exacta. Hoofit paid $5.40.
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