09/11/2017 12:40PM

Fan favorite Hogy still going strong with old partner Geroux

Reed Palmer Photography/Kentucky Downs
Hogy and Florent Geroux teamed for a victory in the Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint on Sept. 9.

More than six years later, Hogy and jockey Florent Geroux are still a winning team.

Geroux was aboard Hogy when the then-2-year-old gelding easily won his debut on June 11, 2011, in the last race at Arlington Park. Geroux, whose career arc was just then starting to climb, can still recall how exciting it was when Hogy won his first three starts, including an ungraded stakes at Canterbury Park.

“He was always a good horse,” said Geroux, who has become a perennial top-10 rider in North America.

Making his first start since being claimed in August for $80,000 by trainer Mike Maker on behalf of Michael Hui (pronounced “hoy”), Hogy immediately paid for himself and more with a hard-fought victory Saturday over Commend and Undrafted in the $398,000 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint at the turf-only track in south-central Kentucky. It was the 14th time in 45 starts that Geroux has ridden Hogy, whose warhorse persona as an 8-year-old has made him a true fan favorite.

“Hogy is just an iron horse,” said Maker, adding he and Hui would like to run him in the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar, with possibly an interim start in the Oct. 7 Woodford at Keeneland.

Hogy has been claimed twice, and both times were for $80,000. The first came Nov. 1, 2012, when Bill Stiritz and trainer Scott Becker took the gelding at Hawthorne from his original connections, Alice Mettler and trainer Joel Berndt. Stiritz got nearly five years of high-level steady production out of Hogy, now an earner of more than $1.13 million.