Hot Diggitty up just in time to capture Ontario County Stakes

Monday, June 24th, 2019

SV Photography

By Sarah Mace

Under a perfectly-timed ride by Reylu Gutierrez, Hobby Horse Stables’ Hot Diggitty just got up in time to win the 2019 renewal of the $50,000 Ontario County Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds at Finger Lakes Monday. The black-type score made it back-to-back victories for the gelded son of Frost Giant, who broke his maiden on at Belmont on May 4.

Trained by Jeremiah Englehart, Hot Diggitty ran three times as a juvenile in state-bred maiden special weight company downstate. He finished a closing third and closing second in October and November at Belmont before winding up the year with a clunker at Aqueduct on November 30.

Clearly profiting from his winter break, Hot Diggitty returned for his first start as a 3-year-old on May 4 to come from well off the pace to break his maiden over off going, earning a career high Beyer Speed Figure of 73. Englehart then gave Hot Diggitty seven weeks and a work over the Farmington oval in preparation for his stakes debut.

Third choice of seven at odds of 5-1, Hot Diggitty exited post five cleanly and settled near the back of the tightly-packed group as the sophomores traveled up the backstretch. Up front, 49-1 longshot Empiremeister was first out of the gate, but immediately passed to his inside by 1-5 favorite Freudnme, whose unbeaten record was on the line in his fourth career start.

Three-wide entering the turn and making his way closer to fence in the bend, Hot Diggitty advanced into fifth and was clearly on the move. Angling out into the clear for the stretch run, he had three to pass as Freudnme still led the group into the final furlong. Freudnme was now tiring and Hot Diggitty was finding his best stride.

Roaring past his rivals in the final sixteenth, Hot Diggitty crossed the finish line to win by three-quarters of a length. Freudnme held second, a keeping head in front of Empiremeister, who outran his odds to get third. After early fractions of 22.58 and 46.10, the final time for six furlongs over the fast going was 1:11.80. [VIDEO REPLAY]

Bred Hobby Horse Stables in partnership with John P. Hicks, Hot Diggitty is the first foal out of Hot Splash, a NYSS stakes-placed daughter of Grade 1 winner Sunriver whose stud career in New York was unfortunately cut short by a heart attack after two seasons.

Hot Splash graduated to broodmare duty with earnings of over $230,000 in 25 starts. She currently has a juvenile filly by Gemologist named Darcy’s Gem, and an unnamed yearling colt by Micromanage. She foaled a filly by Keen Ice on April 11, 2019.

From two wins and a pair of seconds in five starts, Hot Diggitty has earned $73,650.

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