Sporting blinkers for the first time and getting the services of the white hot Gary Stevens, ORIENTATE’s 5-year-old daughter Great Hot (Brz) returned to her graded stakes-winning ways with a gate-to-wire victory in the $200,000 Santa Maria S.-G2 on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Santa Anita.
Overlooked in the betting in the five-horse field of fillies and mares, Great Hot sped to the front in the mile and a sixteenth event and never was threatened, covering the distance in 1:43.08 while defeating even-money favorite Book Review by a half length. She paid $20.80 to win.
“At the three-eighths pole I let her out a notch and it wasn’t full tilt yet, but it was enough to get their attention,” said Stevens. “When we turned into the stretch, she still had enough to hold the other filly (Book Review) off.”
A homebred for Coudelaria Jessica Inc. out of the Seeking the Gold mare That’s Hot, Great Hot recorded her third stakes win from 21 career starts. The $120,000 winner’s share of the purse pushed her lifetime earnings to $537,927.
After making one start - a winning one - in her homeland at 2, Great Hot came to the U.S., won an allowance first time out at 3, and has competed in stakes company ever since. She scored in Keeneland’s Raven Run Stakes-G2 at seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies in 2011, defeating eventual Eclipse Award-winning filly and mare sprint champion Groupie Doll in a sensational time of 1:21.70 over the all-weather surface. Earlier that season, Great Hot took the Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar. She is also eight-times stakes-placed, counting among those efforts the Gr. 1 La Brae and Lady’s Secret Stakes.
Trainer A.C. Avila indicated that he would point Great Hot to Santa Anita’s Grade 1, $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes at a mile and an eighth on March 16.