Home Run Maker ran his winning streak to three races with his stakes debut victory in Saturday's $100,000 Fire Plug S. at Laurel Park.
It was also the first start of 2019 for the 4-year-old Into Mischief colt, who wrapped up last year with a pair of allowance wins over the same surface.
After the break, jockey Jorge Vargas Jr. guided Home Run Maker next to the fence just behind a hard-ridden Shane's Jewel, who took the lead. It wasn't until the upper stretch that Vargas opted to swing Home Run Maker to the middle of the track, where he was set down for a drive and surged past Sheikh of Sheikhs in the final sixteenth, winning by a half-length in a swift 1:08.42, less than a second off the track record, for the six furlongs.
“This horse is doing fantastic right now. I worked him last week and he dragged me. (Trainer Jeremiah Englehart) was here, and he was amazed the way he did it,” Vargas said. “You can see the results. He dragged me out there today and when I ducked him out and he saw clear, he just took off.”
Owned by Jeff Drown, Home Run Hero is 4-1-3 in 12 starts and upped his bankroll to $193,694. Home Run Maker was bred in Kentucky by Peter Blum and sold for $280,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Home Run Hero is Into Mischief's 45th lifetime black type winner and pushed his progeny to nearly $43 million lifetime. He finished 2018 as the leading North American sire of 2-year-olds with 32 winners and earnings of more than $2.5 million.