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Two-Year-Old Fillies try and get ‘Hot’ for Night of Champions

By the time She’s So Hot reached the finals of last year’s Broadway Tax stakes for two-year-old filly pacers, she had already established herself as a cut above her fellow Illinois-bred competitors. Just one race prior to the finals, She’s So Hot had set the track record for her age and gait, and had won her prior three starts in dominating fashion.

She did not disappoint on the Night of Champion’s card when she lived up to her 2-5 status and bravely defeated Get That Cheese by three-quarters of a length. To date, She’s So Hot has won 12 times in 19 starts and has amassed earnings of $217,691. Her lifetime best clocking is 1:51.1, set at Springfield, also as a two-year-old.

So why rehash old news? Well, it shows the giant footsteps the champion filly has left in her wake, as tonight 14 juvenile-filly pacers will get one final chance to qualify for the She’s So Hot stakes that will be held August 2, on Hawthorne’s 2008 Night of Champions.

Tonight’s second leg of the series will be split once again into two divisions, and both would appear to have a few precocious entrants, though how precocious only time will tell.

The first division features one of last week’s winners, Fox Valley Topaz. Owned by both Engel Stables and Rucker Stables, this full sister to Fox Valley Appeal (1:50) upset heavily favored Honey’s Luck in 1:56.3. But it was her final quarter that made the mile special as she came home in a blazing 26.3 to win her leg by a half-length. The filly is trained by Paul Stafford and was driven by Mike Oosting.

‘Topaz’s’ main competition figures to come from both her entrymate Lisa Denisa and Two Easy Hotspur, a Cole Muffler freshman trained by Nelson Willis.

Lisa Denisa was disappointing in the first division of the series as she failed to fire at odds of 4-5 (making it three straight times she’s been beaten at less than even-money), but she is still highly thought of and may still be a dangerous threat in this event.

Two Easy Hotspur set the fractions in Fox Valley Topaz’s win and was only beaten three lengths. That kind of early speed can never be ignored and she’ll probably be winging it again on the front end.

Perhaps it would be unwise to ignore the Erv Miller-trained Incredible Katie as her final quarter of 26.1 in a fourth place finish to ‘Topaz’, would indicate she is not without talent.

The second division would appear to be a battle between the aforementioned Honey’s Luck and Native Hotspur.

Trip-handicappers will have to ask themselves if Honey’s Luck would have won her division if she had gotten off the inside, or at the very least been able to find racing room a little earlier in the stretch. As it was, Honey’s Luck was beaten in that leg and now tries to make amends in leg two. The Miller-trained lass, has already won a division of the Hanover Stakes and is probably the gal to beat.

Native Hotspur has already had five starts in her career, but her latest was probably her best. Leaving from the nine-post, the Willis-trained daughter of Ft Apache Hanover was parked to the quarter on the way to the lead, and when she took over it was lights out, as she easily defeated her eight rivals in 1:55.4. The final time was 4/5ths of a second faster than the other division.

Annie Your Cool, another from the Erv Miller collection, finished second to Native Hotpur that evening and should make her presence felt again.

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