Purely Hot Brings Vega Back to Keeneland

October 05, 2013 05:33am
keeneland start

Prior to Friday, jockey Harry Vega had ridden only one race at Keeneland: a winning effort on the filly Xtra Heat against the boys in the Phoenix (G3) in 2002.

On Friday, Vega had two mounts. He finished third in the opener on 81-1 shot Stickthelanding and won the final race on TrulyAmazing.

The obvious question was what made Vega return to Keeneland after all these years.

Purely Hot,” Vega said of the mare he will ride in this afternoon’s $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2). “Normally this time of year, I would ride in Maryland, at Penn National or Chicago.”

Vega, 48, rode Xtra Heat 11 times in her stellar career that produced a record of 35-26-5-2 for earnings of $2,389,635 and an Eclipse Award as champion 3-year-old filly in 2001. Vega was aboard for seven of those victories and five of Xtra Heat’s 11 graded stakes victories.

“They are both hard triers,” Vega said in comparing Purely Hot with Xtra Heat. “Plus everybody gets along. They have a plan and they follow the plan.”

Since arriving in Central Kentucky, Vega has taken time to visit Xtra Heat at Woodford Farm in Versailles.

“Maybe I can come back in 11 years and see Purely Hot and her babies,” Vega said.



comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Top Stories