02/25/2017 4:32PM

Hogy sets course record in taking Colonel Powers Stakes

Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges Jr.
Florent Geroux rides Hogy to a one-length victory in the Colonel Powers.

The 8-year-old gelding Hogy and jockey Florent Geroux have been reunited, and the two must have felt very good setting a course record in winning the $50,000 Colonel Power Stakes on Saturday at Fair Grounds. 

Geroux rode Hogy in his first four starts – including three wins – way back in 2011, but more than four years had passed when Geroux and Hogy renewed their partnership last month at Sam Houston, where Hogy finished second in a five-furlong turf-sprint stakes.

The slightly longer 5 1/2-furlong Colonel Power better suited Hogy, who ran the distance in 1:01.56, considerably faster than any horse had previously gone the trip over the Fair Grounds grass course. Hogy beat favored Green Mask by one length and paid $7.60 to win.

“I knew I still had a little bit of the magic left. I knew the horse,” Geroux said. “It was great.”

Hogy had rallied from eighth to finish third behind Green Mask and Latent Revenge here in the Bonapaw Stakes in December, and from ninth to get second at Sam Houston, and the key Saturday was a quicker start and better early position.

Hogy broke fourth and settled into third as Latent Revenge, tracked by Green Mask, went 22.44 and 44.79 for the quarter and the half. Geroux steered out at the top of the stretch as Latent Revenge failed to change leads, put his feet in the ground, and was passed by Green Mask. But Hogy quickly collared Green Mask inside the final furlong and clearly was going best at the wire.

“He’s not an easy horse to ride. He doesn’t like to be tight, inside horses. The key with him is to make a move on the outside. And you don’t want to make the lead too soon, because he’ll pull himself up,” Geroux said.

Hogy, an $80,000 claim back when Geroux was his regular rider in Chicago, won for the 16th time in 41 starts. Trained by Scott Becker for owner William Stiritz, Hogy, by Offlee Wild and out of the Petionville mare Floy, has run strong races on turf, dirt, and synthetic surfaces. And he ran an especially strong race in the Colonel Power with Geroux back in the saddle.