02/19/2011 12:42PM

Driven by Solar holding down home front in Hollie Hughes at Aqueduct


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – With his more heralded stablemate headed to Maryland for the Grade 2 General George Handicap, Driven by Solar will carry the banner for owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher in Monday’s $65,000 Hollie Hughes Stakes for New York-breds at Aqueduct.

And while Driven by Success is a three-time stakes winner and earner of more than $541,719, Driven by Solar may actually have been the stronger half of the entry.

Driven by Solar, a 5-year-old son of Freud, has posted all five of his lifetime wins over Aqueduct’s inner track, and has won four of his last five starts dating back to December 2009. His lone loss in that span came when he was brought back off a nine-month layoff and got used up in a speed duel, while finishing third. Since then, Driven by Solar has recorded two front-running victories against open company allowance foes.

“Our post position in his previous couple of races has dictated our tactics,” said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to Pletcher. “He has won from just off the pace and is capable of rating.”

Thomas noted that Driven by Solar could be the equine version of his type-A personality owner.

“He’s probably Repole in horse form,” Thomas said. “He’s a real generous horse whose got great enthusiasm for the game and does his job.”

Driven by Solar will break from post 2 under Fernando Jara.

If there is a horse that can outfoot Driven by Solar for the early lead it is likely to be defending Hollies Hughes winner Rereadthefootnotes. A 5-year-old son of Read the Footnotes, Rereadthefootnotes is making his first start since winning last year’s Hollie Hughes in front-running fashion. Trainer Mike Hushion said Rereadthefootnotes was given ample time off to recover from an ankle injury.

Rereadthefootnotes, who has won three times off layoffs before, has breezed 11 times since Dec. 5.

“He should have enough in him now to be fit,” said Hushion, who has won the Hollie Hughes five times. “I don’t know if we get his ‘A’ race or not; I’ll settle for the ‘B-plus’ race and that might be good enough.”

Channing Hill rides Rereadthefootnotes from post 3.

Be Bullish, a likely pace factor breaking from the rail, is a hard-trying 6-year-old gelding who is making his first start off the claim for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

Smokin Hero, second in last year’s Hollie Hughes, finished third to Driven by Solar in a Jan. 30 allowance race. Longshot Heavenly Blaze completes the field.