Mott to 'shop around' Hofburg's Saratoga stakes options

NYRA Press Office
July 19, 2019 04:46pm
Mott to 'shop around' Hofburg's Saratoga stakes options
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

Juddmonte Farms' homebred Hofburg, a multiple Grade 1-placed son of Tapit, earned a 94 Beyer Speed Figure in his winning return to the races Thursday at Saratoga.

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the talented chestnut enjoyed a productive 2018 campaign, winning the Curlin at Saratoga after finishing second in the Florida Derby (G1), seventh in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Belmont.

A half-brother to multiple Grade 1-winner Emollient, also campaigned by Mott for Juddmonte Farms, Hofburg employed a ground-saving trip under Jose Ortiz in Thursday's nine-furlong optional-claiming event, stalking from third before angling three-wide to take command at the stretch call.

Roaming Union battled gamely down the lane but could not make up any ground on Hofburg, who edged clear for a 2 3/4-length score.

"I thought he ran really well," Mott said. "Tactically, he was good. He was up in the race and when Jose asked him, he drew away from his company.

“He didn't hang at the end and it seemed like he had good energy the last eighth of a mile. It was a very good race."

Mott said a start in the $750,000 Woodward (G1), also at nine furlongs Aug. 31 at Saratoga, is a possible next start.

"We're probably a little late to run in the Whitney, so maybe we'll look at the Woodward,” Mott said. “We'll shop around a little bit. Hopefully, the fact that he showed up (Thursday) is a sign of better things to come."

Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R. A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing's multiple Grade 1-winner 
Channel Maker will look to defend his title in the $250,000 Bowling Green (G2) on July 27.

Last year, Channel Maker dead heated with Glorious Empire for the win over soft going in the 1 3/8-mile Bowling Green during a solid run of form that saw the Canadian-bred English Channel chestnut follow up with a second in the Sword Dancer (G1) ahead of a decisive 4 1/2-length score in the Turf Classic Invitational (G1) at Belmont.

Mott said Channel Maker is in good order ahead of next Saturday's return bout.

"Channel Maker is headed to the Bowling Green,” Mott said. “I like the way he's been training.”


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