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Hobbs Set for Next Step Up in El Prado Saturday
Peter Kelly’s 3-year-old gelding Hobbs was claimed for $50,000 at Saratoga on Aug 31 and in two starts since finished a game second by a half-length in a Belmont Park turf allowance on Oct. 25 and scored a hard-fought neck victory in the $80,000 Montserrat Stakes over the Aqueduct course last time out.
A son of Put It Back trained by Kathy Mongeon, Hobbs will take another step up for his new connections in Saturday’s $75,000 El Prado Stakes at Gulfstream Park and will go into the race with an 8-3-4-0 record, including three wins and three seconds in six starts on turf.
“I’ve trained for Mr. Kelly for about 15 years. He liked his breeding and saw an improving horse,” said Mongeon Sunday morning. “He had done everything right after that first race sprinting on dirt,” referring to finishing sixth of seven in his career debut at Belmont Park in September of 2011.
“It looked like he was a little aggressive in some of his races, so I put blinkers on him and he’s been more relaxed. He’s got a great disposition, nice and laid back around the barn. We actually missed a little training with him before his last race .
“We were stabled at Monmouth Park and (Hurricane) Sandy hit and we couldn’t do any more than walk him in the barn for several days. I had to ride with him on the horse van up to Aqueduct because we couldn’t get any gas for the car. He ran a big race to win against some good horses and hopefully can take this next step up.”
Jockey Eddie Castro rode Hobbs to capture the Montserrat and will be on hand from New York next weekend for the mount. Hobbs worked a sharp half-mile in 48 flat Saturday morning at Gulfstream.