02/18/2017 7:09PM

Hot City Girl may have put off retirement by winning Broadway

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Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Owner Sheila Rosenblum must decide whether Hot City Girl should continue racing or become a broodmare after winning the Broadway under Manny Franco.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - On Monday, owner Sheila Rosenblum watched as her champion sprinting filly La Verdad become a mother. On Saturday, Rosenblum watched Hot City Girl - La Verdad’s younger half-sister - make a case for putting parenthood off a little longer.

Hot City Girl wrested the lead from pacesetting Court Dancer just outside the eighth pole and edged away to a 1 1/4-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Broadway Stakes at Aqueduct. La Verdad won the Broadway in 2014, a year before she would go on to win an Eclipse Award as champion female sprinter.

The victory gave Rosenblum something to think about as she decides whether to retire Hot City Girl or continue on for the remainder of the year. Hot City Girl, a 5-year-old daughter of City Zip, has won 7 of 18 starts, including the Grade 3 Charles Town Oaks, is Grade 1-placed and has earned $668,150.

“It’s a good option to have - breeding shed or racing, which will it be?” Rosenblum said in the Aqueduct winner’s circle. “Being that she’s mine I can make that decision quietly, not tonight. If she didn’t race well we knew what the answer was. This was a very important win and he rode her beautifully,” referring to jockey Manny Franco.

Franco  picked up the mount on Hot City Girl because regular rider Jose Ortiz is on suspension. Franco did a good job of avoiding a head-and-head- speed duel with Court Dancer who broke well and bumped with Hot City Girl. Court Dancer, under Angel Arroyo, set fractions of 22.55 for the quarter-mile  and 45.25 for the half-mile with Hot City Girl within a half-length and to her outside.

Hot City Girl was able to put away Court Dancer with a furlong remaining and easily held off Jet Majesty, who rallied from last at 23-1 to get second by a length over She’s All Ready. Splendid Gold, Roman Ceres, Play Me a Memory, Court Dancer, and Flatterywillgetyou completed the order of finish.

Hot City Girl covered the six furlongs in 1:11.56 and returned $4 as the even-money favorite.

Speed is Hot City Girl’s best game and Rice said she left the tactics up to Franco, noting that Court Dancer doesn’t always break well.

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Rice said she told Franco that Hot City Girl’s “A game is to be out there and you’re going to have to decide how much of a speed duel you’re going to get in with Court Dancer if they both break well.”

Franco, who won three races on Saturday’s card, said Hot City Girl “broke strong but I was able to stay with the plan [and] just sit off Court Dancer. I had the favorite in the race, and thankfully she got a good trip and we did it.”

The victory was one of four on the day for Rice, who 10 minutes after the Broadway won the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel with High Ridge Road. She also won a $20,000 claimer at Aqueduct with Tradfest and an allowance race at Laurel with Matt King Coal.