Thursday, May 1, 2014

Arlington International Racecourse Barn Notes: Thursday, May 1

                                Contact: Michael Adolphson
(847) 385-7558
Barn Notes:  Thursday, May 1, 2014     
In Today's Notes: 
  • Another Hanshin for Hogy Planned
  • Maria Maria Hoping to Return Next Week


        Multiple stakes winner Hogy is on a similar path this year to his 2013 campaign – one that saw him take down four of seven races and lose a photo for one other.  Three of those four victories were in stakes, including the Grade III Hanshin Cup over a flat mile on Arlington International Racecourse's main track. 
        Trained by Scott Becker for 2011 leading Arlington owner William Stiritz, the gelded 5-year-old son of Offlee Wild has started twice in 2014, including a fast-closing fourth last out in the Grade III Shakertown Stakes – a turf sprint – at Keeneland.  Last year, Hogy used the same prep en route to victory in the Hanshin and this year his connections hopes for the same. 
        "He's doing really good right now," said Becker.  "The Hanshin is the goal again and he's on schedule.  We think he's just as good as he always was." 
Numbers people might consider the nearly black charge even better, as he received a similar trip in last year's Shakertown, yet ran a number eight Equibase points slower than this year's edition (109).
        Last year, after blitzing the Hanshin field in 1:34.25, Hogy went on to finish a head second in the grassy 5 ½-furlong Arlington Sprint, then annexed the Troy Stakes at Saratoga at the same conditions before displaying his versatility with a victory in the two-turn Presque Isle Mile at Presque Isle Downs over the synthetic Tapeta surface. 
After an uncharacteristic eighth behind Silver Max and two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the off-the-turf Grade I Shadwell Mile, Hogy was given a break to prepare for this season.  Now, in his fourth season of racing, Hogy has won half of his 22 starts, won or placed in nine open stakes and proven victorious in five of nine Arlington events.  His 120 Equibase Speed Figure in last year's Hanshin was not only a career high, but also tied the highest of any horse all Arlington season.


        Curtis Green's stakes-placed sophomore filly Maria Maria is slated for a return at the beginning of the meet, according to trainer Jimmy DiVito.  An auspicious maiden winner last year at Arlington International Racecourse in her juvenile season, the daughter of the mighty Curlin finished a good third in the Listed Arlington-Washington Lassie before a tight trip in the Grade I Alcibiades resulted in a 10th-place finish.  She closed her season with a facile romp in an allowance at Hawthorne Race Course.
        This season, the dark bay ran a closing fourth in the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs to kick off her season before running a huge race against the boys in an allowance on grass – her turf debut.  "I wanted to try her on grass and couldn't find a race, so we ran her against the colts and she ran big," said DiVito.  Maria Maria was defeated 3 1/4-lengths by the highly regarded graded stakes-winning colts Bobby's Kitten and Global View.
        "I think she might be better on grass," DiVito said of the granddaughter of Breeders' Cup Turf runner-up With Approval. "She ran really well at Tampa and those horses in front of her were tough – but, she galloped out past them and was flying.  The clocker said he got her in :23 and change for her last quarter."
        After that salty allowance, Maria Maria ran in Prairie Meadows' Goldfinch Stakes conditions below her optimum.  "I ran her last out going six furlongs on the dirt and I just don't think she liked it as much," DiVito said.  "I'm going to try to get her into a three-other-than allowance on the 10th of May (at Arlington) on the grass."
As far as the future, she could be aimed toward bigger and better goals at the Chicagoland oval.  "I think after this, if it goes well, we'll look at stakes down the road like the Hatoof and the Pucker Up," DiVito concluded.  The Listed Hatoof will be August 16, Arlington Million Day, and the Grade III Pucker Up is September 13.
David ZennerSenior Manager of Communications
Arlington International Racecourse
2200 W. Euclid Ave. Arlington Heights IL 60006-0007
P 847.385.7535│C: 847.371.1670 | F: 847.870.6727│E:


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