A quick early pace in the $102,000 Victory Ride S. at Saratoga set things up perfectly for a strong closing move from Hot Summer to come up the rail for a half-length win in the six furlong contest for 3-year-old fillies. The daughter of Malibu Moon won the Grade 3 Comely S. at Aqueduct in April and was second in the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan S. at Pimlico.
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Hot Summer dropped well off the pace down the backstretch, with just one horse beat in the field of nine after a quarter mile. Hugging the rail on the turn, she continued on along the inside into the stretch, picking off horses one by one until she struck the front inside the final sixteenth of a mile. The winning time for the six furlongs was 1:10.18. The 89 Beyer Speed Figure is a career best.
“I liked my filly,” said John Velasquez, who was aboard Hot Summer for the first time. “She comes from behind and has a strong finish. I wanted to be on the inside or in the middle. I had a lot of horse.”
“When (announcer Tom) Durkin called her at the head of the lane, we felt good,” said winning trainer David Fawkes. “She ran awfully big today.”
Fawkes said Hot Summer could be trained up to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Churchill Nov. 4. "It's possible," Fawkes said. "I have to talk to (owner Harold Queen); I wouldn't mind seeing her go seven-eighths."
Hot Summer lifted her record to 4-0-2 from seven starts and earned $60,000 for her owner, Harold L. Queen. Her lifetime earnings are $245,700.
Lazy Lane Farms bred Hot Summer in Virginia. Queen bought the filly as a yearling for $180,000 at the Keeneland September sale in 2009.