05/27/2013 5:14PM

Arlington Park: Hogy paying big dividends after claim

Four-Footed Fotos
Hogy has earned $107,300 in three starts this year, including a win Saturday in the Hanshin Cup.

Owner William Stiritz’s trainer, Scott Becker, is based at Fairmount Park, with assistant trainer John Pool running Stiritz’s active string in Chicago. It was Becker who pointed out last fall at Hawthorne the availability of Hogy for an $80,000 claiming price.

“I’ve watched the horse, and I’ve always kind of liked the horse,” Becker said Monday. “I saw he was in for a tag, and [Stiritz] said, ‘Go for it.’ He really didn’t blink an eye.”

Four races into his tenure with Stiritz, Becker, and Pool, Hogy already has more than paid for himself, his win Saturday in the $150,000 Hanshin Cup boosting his earnings in three 2013 starts to $107,300. Hogy finished second late last year in a Hawthorne allowance race in his first start after the claim.

In the Hanshin, Hogy stalked a hot pace in third, moving sharply to the lead at the five-sixteenths pole, and beat the established graded-stakes performer Mister Marti Gras by 1 1/2 lengths. His time of 1:34.25 was one of the fastest one-mile clockings in Arlington’s six-plus years of Polytrack racing and produced a career-best 101 Beyer.

“John said he came back fine,” Becker said. “It was nothing that knocked him out of his feed tub or anything.”

The Hanshin was Hogy’s first win beyond six furlongs, and – all being well – Hogy will turn back to a sprint distance and return to turf racing for the July 6 Arlington Sprint.