01/29/2006 12:00AM

Hotstufanthensome good medicine for Pointer

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Ryan McAlinden/EQUI-PHOTO
Hotstufanthensome with Rajiv Maragh riding, win the $100,000 MacDiarmida Handicap at Gulfstream Park in course record time on Sunday.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Norman Pointer had to take a leave of absence from the barn this winter due to health reasons. But the veteran horseman got some pretty good medicine on Sunday when his Hotstufanthensome rallied from near the rear of the pack to beat Go Deputy by a length in Gulfstream Park's $100,000 .

Norman Pointer trained Hotstufanthensome for his main client Runnin Horse Farm Inc. until turning the day to day operation of his entire barn over long time friend and former assistant Nathan Sinclair earlier this year. But Pointer still has an active say in the operation and was on hand Sunday for the Grade 3 Mac Diarmida.

Hotstufanthensome, who won Meadowlands' Grade 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes by 14.5 lengths over a soft course in October, had only two horses beat after the opening six furlongs of the mile and three eighth Mac Diarmida. He began to pick up horses leaving the backstretch for the final time, came four wide into the stretch to quickly overtake the leaders approaching the eighth pole and after edging clear withstood Go Deputy.

Go Deputy raced in mid-pack and finished with a rush between horses to be second, a half length in front of Honor In War. The latter rallied five wide into the stretch but hung near the end. Silverfoot, the 2-1 favorite in a full field of 12 turf specialists, lagged near the rear of the field and rallied belatedly to finish fifth.

Hotstufanthensome, a 6-year-old son of Awesome Again, established a new course record of 2:10.90 seconds for the distance and paid $38.60.

"I'm not coming out much these days but I'm feeling okay and hope to be back to work by April," Pointer said after the race. "I've got a good man there and winning a race like this certainly doesn't hurt when it comes to feeling better."

Sinclair has worked for Pointer for two years and was overseeing his barn at Tampa Bay Downs prior to taking over the local operation.

"Norman and I are long time friends and he's made it easy for me," said Sinclair. "He had this horse very happy."