Local Sports

Sizzling performance by Hot Little Thing in $100,000 Back Home Again Stakes

Hot Little Thing and jockey Alex Achard made their step up into stakes action a seamless move, scoring the victory in the 22nd running of the $100,000 Back Home Again Stakes Wednesday at Horseshoe Indianapolis in Shelbyville.

It was the third career start for the Army Mule filly who is now two for three in her young career.

Hot Little Thing and Achard (photo) started their journey in the six-furlong sprint from post three and were surrounded by competition that had early speed from the gate. The speedy little chestnut filly was quick out of the gate and snagged the top spot in the first few strides of the race. Achard was able to maintain the desired spot on top with several fillies lurking just at their heels.

At the head of the stretch, Hot Little Thing hit another gear and pulled away from the field, gobbling up ground with every stride. As Track announcer John Dooley noted in the stretch call, “She’s an Army Mule filly and boy does she have a kick.”

Hot Little Thing was well under wraps by Achard, who had a huge smile on his face as they crossed under the wire for the win, scoring the victory by 14 and one-half lengths. Corningstone and Brian Hernandez Jr. rallied up late for second, just a neck ahead of Bluelightspecial and Manny Esquivel, who endured traffic trouble in the turn but later shook loose and came up the inside for third.



The time of the sprint was 1:10.43.

“We were lucky enough to get on the lead and no one put too much pressure on us,” said Achard. “When I asked her at the top of the stretch, she took off just like we did out of the gate.”

Hot Little Thing, trained by Rodolphe Brisset, shipped in for the win, paying $4.20. She was an $80,000 purchase from the Ocala Breeders Sale in March this year for the partnership of September Farm LLC, Union Park Thoroughbred LLC, Storyteller Racing, and Jonathan Wilmot. Several of the owners were trackside donning their gold ball caps representing the filly, which went over the $100,000 mark in earnings for her connections.

“She’s been great,” said Ted Nixon, who along with his wife, Mary, co-own the filly under Storyteller Racing. “Rodolphe (Brisset) found her for us at the Ocala Sale and we were super excited to have an Indiana bred. She has been everything we hoped for. This is our first stakes win in Indiana and as Rodolphe said, she’ll be back.”