Double Up: Somelikeithotbrown defends Mohawk title

Saturday, November 6th, 2021

Somelikeithotbrown, excluded from Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Mile, takes second straight Mohawk Stakes at Belmont Park. Chelsea Durand/NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Almost exactly three years removed from a third in the 2018 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, the ultra-consistent New York-bred Somelikeithotbrown visited the winner’s circle for an eighth time in Saturday’s $200,000 Mohawk Stakes at Belmont Park.

Skychai Racing’s and David Koenig’s 5-year-old son of Big Brown was first out of the gate and first to the front in the 1 1/16-mile turf stakes and never looked back. He had a few lengths on the field throughout most of the running and set fractions of :24.23 and :49.15 for the first half as Klickitat followed in second.

Somelikeithotbrown allowed the field creep a little closer around the turn before Jorge Vargas Jr. let him extend as they raced toward the stretch. Somelikeithotbrown repelled a challenge by City Man as they straightened and had more than enough to fend off that threat.

Sanctuary City was the next to make a move at the 1-2 favorite but could only get within a half-length at the line as Somelikeithotbrown stopped the clock in 1:42.39.

The Mohawk capped an up and down week for the Hot Pink Stables and Sand Dollar Stables-bred 5-year-old, who had been pre-entered into Saturday’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar but was not selected into the field. After that decision trainer Mike Maker and Somelikeithotbrown’s connections decided to go for a second straight Mohawk victory and it proved to be a winning move.

“He was [originally] pointing to the Breeders’ Cup so you had to feel confident,” said Vargas. “He was traveling easily throughout. When they got to me, I asked a little bit and he jumped on them right away. When it was time to run, he fought to the end. He’s a nice horse.

“Nice horses make multiple moves. They know what they’re capable of, and that’s what he does. He still had something left; I could barely pull him up he was feeling so good.”

The multiple Grade 1-placed Somelikeithotbrown added to his seven-figure bankroll Saturday, raising it to $1,189,338 in his 17th top-three finish in 23 starts.

Foaled at Sequel Stallions New York, Somelikeithotbrown is one of two New York-bred stakes winners for the Tapit mare Marilyn Monroan. She’s also the dam of Jolting Joe, who has finished in the top three in six of his eight starts this year.

Three of Marilyn Monroan’s four foals are active on the track in 2021, with her 3-year-old Culture Icon running four times this year.

Marilyn Monroan also has a Kentucky-bred unnamed 2-year-old by Palace Malice, a yearling filly by Hard Spun and she visited Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn this year.

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