Hogy with Florent Geroux captures the Colonel Power Overnight Stakes with a new track record of 1:01.56 for the 5 1/2 furlongs over the Fair Grounds turf course.
The connections behind Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots-based top turf sprinter Hogy are going to take the conservative route with the nearly black six-time stakes-winning gelding. The Scott Becker-trained and William Stiritz-owned son of Offlee Wild was extended an invitation to the Group 1, $ 1,000,000 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night, Mar. 25, at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates, but will decline such and point for a second lifetime graded score in the G2 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland on Apr. 8.
“He came out of his race great and everything seems good,” Becker said. “We shipped him from the Fair Grounds to Fairmount (Park) to get him ready for Keeneland and the Shakertown.
“(Dubai representatives) called me, but I had already shipped the horse out. If I had more time and it was part of the plan, I might have gone. It was a little bit of a complicated ship too. I would have had to go with (Dubai World Cup probable) Gun Runner to Miami for two days and then ship from there to Dubai. I also didn’t want to knock him out as an 8-year-old, so there were a few reasons not to go. If he’s doing this well, we’ll stay in the states and the plan will be the Shakertown and then hopefully the (G3 Jaipur) Stakes at Belmont in early June. The horse is doing really well and just has had some unfortunate trips.”
Doing well, indeed. The 16-time winner broke the 5½-furlong track record last out on the Stall-Wilson turf course in the Col. Power Stakes, scorching the lawn in 1:01.56 and defeating multiple stakes-winning favorite Green Mask, an in-form foe who placed in both the Al Quoz and G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint two years ago. Even more impressive was the fact that at age eight and in his 41st start, Hogy earned his highest career Equibase Speed Figure — 122 — the highest rating of any turf horse in America thus far in 2017.
On the strength of his current form and penchant for the elusive six-furlong turf sprint distance of the Al Quoz, Hogy would have been one of the more formidable American entrants in the straight-stretched global sprint. He would have faced some of the world’s best turf sprinters, including multiple Group I winner Limato (Ire) and possibly top-ranked multiple G1-placed Ballydoyle representative Washington DC (Ire).
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