Hot Peppers Could Target Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

October 7, 2022

Bella Sofia Entered in Fasig-Tipton November Sale

OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Michael Dubb and Michael Caruso’s graded stakes winner Hot Peppers could be headed to Keeneland for a shot at the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on November 5 to close out a prosperous sophomore campaign for trainer Rudy Rodriguez.

A Florida-bred daughter of Khozan, Hot Peppers was last seen finishing an even fourth in the Grade 2 Prioress on September 2 at Saratoga Race Course, defeated 5 1/4 lengths by Wicked Halo in the six-furlong test for sophomore fillies. One start prior, she was a game runner-up to upset winner Chi Town Lady in the Grade 1 Longines Test where she set the pace and ran strongly to the wire, but drifted out near the sixteenth pole and came up just 1 1/2 lengths shy of victory.

Rodriguez said the main track at Saratoga may not have been in Hot Peppers’ favor this summer.

“I think the track was against us the whole time,” Rodriguez said. “It favored closers most of the meet, and when you’re the speed horse, it’s tough. We’re not disappointed though. She dug in and it was tough.”

Earlier this year, Hot Peppers scored her first graded victory with a wire-to-wire effort in the Grade 3 Victory Ride on July 9 at Belmont Park, which came on the heels of a dominate 6 3/4-length win in the Jersey Girl in June.

Rodriguez said he and the owners will decide on a Breeders’ Cup start soon after she breezed a sharp half-mile in 47.25 seconds over the Belmont training track on Friday.

“We’ll talk about it today and take it from there,” Rodriguez said. “I’m not sure just yet. The owners said to get her ready for the Breeders’ Cup, so that’s all I’m trying to do right now. It’s a tough race, but she looks good. We’re just freshening her up and breezed her today since the track was a still a little wet yesterday.”

Rodriguez also added that last year’s Grade 1 Longines Test winner Bella Sofia has been entered in the Fasig-Tipton November Sale as a racing or broodmare prospect. She is listed as Hip No. 266 and will be consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency. The daughter of Awesome Patriot was last seen finishing a distant seventh in the Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap on August 28 at the Spa.

NYRA Press Office

Photo: Hot Peppers after her Jersey Girl win (NYRA/Coglianese)

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