Taking advantage of sizzling early
fractions, Hot Summer went from last to first with a determined charge along the
rail in the Grade 3, $100,000 Victory Ride presented by Jose Cuervo at Saratoga
Race Course on Saturday afternoon.
Confidently ridden by Cornelio
Velasquez, the 3-year-old Malibu Moon filly stayed well off fractions of 21.77
and 44.23 set by Maple Forest, then began moving steadily up on
the turn as Roman Treasure began mounting her challenge. Angled to the rail, Hot
Summer took aim at the front-runner, moving alongside at the sixteenth pole and
then on to a half-length win, with Roman Treasure holding on for third.
Hot Summer’s winning time for the
six furlongs was 1:10.18.
“I liked my filly,” said
Velasquez, who was aboard her for the first time. “I told my agent she was a
good fit in the race. She comes from behind and has a strong finish. I wanted to
be on the inside or in the middle. I had a lot of horse.”
Most recently third in the Grade
2 Black-Eyed Susan behind Grade 1 TVG Alabama winner Royal Delta and Grade 1
Mother Goose winner Buster’s Ready, Hot Summer lifted her record to 4-0-2 from
seven starts and earned $60,000 for her owner, Harold L. Queen.
[Tom] Durkin called her at the head of the lane, we felt good,” said winning
trainer David Fawkes. “She ran awfully big today. It’s possible [we would train
her up to the Breeders’ Cup.] I have to talk to the
off at 7-1, Hot Summer returned $16.40 for a $2 win bet.
Completing the order of finish behind Maple Forest and Roman Treasure were A Z
Warrior, Funny Sunny, Jealous Girl, Moon Buzz, Precious Soul and Oflee Wicked.