Be Bullish, claimed for $75,000 on January 28,
returned quick dividends as he turned in a stretch-running victory against New
York-bred sprinters in the $65,000 Hollie Hughes on Presidents Day at Aqueduct
Making his first start for trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr., Be Bullish was
unhurried in fourth as former stablemate Smokin Hero cleared on the lead through
an opening quarter of 22.95. Jockey Junior Alvarado put Be Bullish to a drive
at the top of the stretch, and the gray split horses and kicked away from the
pacesetter to prevail by 1 ¾ lengths.
“It was exactly how Rick told me to ride this horse,” said
Alvarado. “I was saving ground all the way. He told me to wait and find
the nicest spot. And that was exactly what I did. When I asked him, he
responded right away and just took off. When I asked him, he was real
Dutrow was inspired to claim Be Bullish and point him to the Hollie Hughes
after watching the 6-year-old gelding train according to his assistant Juan
“[Rick] told me, ‘I have a big race in mind for this
guy,’ after we claimed him,” said Rodriguez.
Be Bullish, owned by Sullivan Lane Stable and Rick Dutrow, returned
$6.20 for a $2 win wager as the 2-1 second choice, improved his record to 8-14-8
from 46 starts, and was clocked in 1:11.62 for six furlongs. Bred by Carol and
Herbert Schwartz, Be Bullish has earned $495,753 to date, including the $39,000
winner’s share of today’s purse.
The Hollie Hughes was the fourth stakes win for Be Bullish, whose last
black-type victory had come in the Leon Reed Memorial Handicap at Finger Lakes in August when trained by Chris Englehart.
Following that triumph, the son of Pure Prize finished
second in both the Easy N’ Dirty and Hudson stakes at Belmont Park, fifth
in the Mountaineer Mile Handicap at Mountaineer Racetrack, and was runner-up in
a $60,000 claiming race at Aqueduct on January 13 prior to being claimed by
Dutrow when second in an optional claimer at the Big A.
Smokin Hero, trained by Englehart, finished 4 ½
lengths ahead of third-place finisher Heavenly Blaze, who edged Driven by Solar
by a nose. Rereadthefootnotes, the 8-5 favorite who was making his first start
since winning the 2010 Hollie Hughes, was last.