View larger photo History Favors Mr. Hot Stuff
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Twice in the last three years, the Belmont Stakes was won by a horse who was still eligible to a first-level allowance race. Neither Jazil in 2006, nor Da' Tara in 2008 had won anything other than a maiden race before capturing the Belmont, but both thrived over the 1 1/2 miles at Belmont Park.

That is in part what has given trainer Eoin Harty the hope that Mr. Hot Stuff can turn in a breakthrough performance in this year's Belmont Stakes on June 6. Mr. Hot Stuff has won just once in eight starts, and though he finished third in both the Sham Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby, he was 15th in the Kentucky Derby in his first start on dirt.

"I thought he did deplorably in the Derby," Harty, who is nothing if not candid, said Tuesday morning. "He was back early on, which I was quite happy about. He made a mild move, and that was it. I don't want to blame the track, but he had never been on an off track before."

Harty has decided to press on. Mr. Hot Stuff remained in Kentucky, and was taken to Keeneland to train over that track's synthetic surface. On Tuesday morning, he worked five furlongs in company at Keeneland in 1:01 with exercise rider Brian O'Leary aboard. Mr. Hot Stuff worked early in the morning, before the heat index began to rise.

"It's been so steamy here, but this morning it was beautiful for the first two or three hours," Harty's assistant, Brian Ange, said from Kentucky. "He finished up the work great. He came the final three-eighths in 35 seconds, in company, and finished up nice."

Mr. Hot Stuff is a full brother to Colonel John, who won last year's Santa Anita Derby and later in the year won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Mr. Hot Stuff has taken longer to come to hand - "He's still a little behind the eight ball," Harty said - but the trainer said he believes the Belmont distance will suit him.

"It should not be a problem," Harty said. "He should relish that kind of distance."

Four times in the last six years, the Belmont has been won by a horse who came into the Belmont off a five-week layoff. Mr. Hot Stuff, like Birdstone, Empire Maker, and Jazil, bypassed the Preakness after running in the Derby to point for the Belmont. Rags to Riches had won the Kentucky Oaks in her start prior to the Belmont.

Mr. Hot Stuff is scheduled to work again on Monday at Keeneland, then fly to New York on June 3 on the same plane that brings Mine That Bird, the Derby winner and Preakness runner-up, to the Belmont.
Super Steed sweeps to victory in $500,000 Southwest S. (G3) title=
Super Saver

Super Steed sweeps to victory in $500,000 Southwest S. (G3)

Super Saver's TDN Rising Star is now a graded stakes winner after a thrilling score in the $500,000 Southwest S. (G3) on Presidents' Day at Oaklawn Park...

[read more]

Harvey Wallbanger rides the rail to victory in the Holy Bull S. (G2) title=
Congrats

Harvey Wallbanger rides the rail to victory in the Holy Bull S. (G2)

Congrats got his first stakes winner of 2019 in thrilling fashion on Saturday when Harvey Wallbanger came from last to first in the final three furlongs to win the $350,000 Holy Bull S. (G2)...

[read more]

Battle of Midway shows his heart to take San Pasqual S. (G2) title=

Battle of Midway shows his heart to take San Pasqual S. (G2)

Don Alberto Stable's and WinStar Farm's Battle of Midway prevailed over McKinzie by a half-length after a spirited stretch duel in Saturday's $200,000 San Pasqual S. (G2)...

[read more]

Dawn the Destroyer sets major milestone for Speightstown title=
Speightstown

Dawn the Destroyer sets major milestone for Speightstown

Speightstown became just the sixth active North American sire to get 100 black type stakes winners on Jan. 25 when Dawn the Destroyer captured the $100,000 Interborough S...

[read more]

Justify crowned Horse of the Year & 3YO Champ title=

Justify crowned Horse of the Year & 3YO Champ

Justify's historic Triple Crown and undefeated season in 2018 earned the colt both Horse of the Year and champion Male 3-year-old honors at Thursday evening's Eclipse Awards...

[read more]

Roy H wins second straight Male Champion Sprinter Eclipse Award title=
More Than Ready

Roy H wins second straight Male Champion Sprinter Eclipse Award

More Than Ready's brilliant son Roy H collected his second award as Champion Male Sprinter on Thursday evening at the Eclipse Award Ceremony...

[read more]

Tiznow filly strikes big in career debut at Santa Anita Park title=
Tiznow

Tiznow filly strikes big in career debut at Santa Anita Park

Flor de La Mar, a $500,000 Saratoga Yearling in 2018, cruised to a five-length victory in her unveiling Jan. 20 at Santa Anita...

[read more]

Roy H all class once again in Grade 2 Palos Verdes S. title=
More Than Ready

Roy H all class once again in Grade 2 Palos Verdes S.

Roy H's four-length score in Saturday's $200,000 Palos Verdes S. (G2) proved that the son of More Than Ready is as good as ever as he gears up for his 2019 campaign...

[read more]

Paynter filly kicks off 2019 with Silverbulletday S. victory title=
Paynter

Paynter filly kicks off 2019 with Silverbulletday S. victory

Needs Supervision made the jump into stakes company in Saturday's $150,000 Silverbulletday S. at Fair Grounds and came away with a three-quarter length victory...

[read more]

Exaggerator's first yearling of 2019 hammers for $125,000 at Keeneland title=
Exaggerator

Exaggerator's first yearling of 2019 hammers for $125,000 at Keeneland

The new year opened with a bang for Exaggerator on Jan. 7 when his first-ever yearling offered at auction sold for $125,000...

[read more]