(Hogy never seemed to miss the call or a race. And, he never missed a chance to give his best. Always. / All Photos by Holly M. Smith)
Some of you may not remember the story of a gelding by the name of Hogy. After all, he was never the type of horse to grab the “Top of the Fold” headlines in our sport.
(For those that don’t know what “Top of the Fold” means, it is an old newspaper term. Remember those things? Newspapers? If your newspaper arrived on your front doorstep, it was normally folded in half. The top half was the beginning. And, the “Top of the Fold” was reserved for the top stories.)
Yet, we digress.
You see, Hogy came from modest beginnings.
He was a son of the modest sire Offlee Wild, who never really took in most breeding circles. At the very least, not in Kentucky.
As a yearling, Hogy sold at the 2010 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale as a yearling. Not at the more traditional and popular September Sale, mind you. At the more modest January Sale.
And, at that time, Hogy was sold for a mere modest price of $17,000 to agent Halvorson Bloodstock.
Modest beginnings, to be sure.
But Hogy developed into a racehorse that was far from modest. In his race career, that stretched from 2011 to 2019, the dark bay gelding raced a total of 55 times. He won 19 of them. He ran second 13 times. He was third on 7 occasions. He finished with $1.339 million in earnings.
He began the race career with 3 straight wins and won 4 of the first 5 outings — including the Hansel Stakes at Turfway Park in March of 2012. In 2013, he won the G3 Hanshin Cup Stakes at Arlington Park. In 2016, he ran second in the G3 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland. In 2017, he won both the Colonel Power Stakes and the G3 KY Downs Turf Sprint Stakes. And, in 2018, Hogy was back for more — winning the G3 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Certainly, not modest results. To be sure.
For his career, Hogy raced for trainer Mike Maker and owner Michael M. Hui. And, now, the 11-year-old resides at Old Friends retirement home.
If you get a chance, take the opportunity to go see Hogy. Give him a peppermint. Or two. Take a carrot or two. From humble beginnings to great accomplishments, Hogy gave us much. Now, let’s give him both credit and love. He deserves both.
And, here’s how to contact Michael Hui. May be fun to let him know, too, how much we appreciate Hogy — a true “War Horse.”
Twitter Handle: @mmhui63 twitter handle for owner)
Here’s a look at Hogy from the eyes and lens of Holly:
(Hog works for trainer Mike Maker)
(Hogy wins at the wire)
(Hogy — the definition of a “War Horse”)
(Hogy walks over for a race at the Fair Grounds and goes through a work)
(Hogy heads into the paddock at the Fair Grounds)