Gil Johnston’s Mr. Hot Stuff and jockey Paddy Young returned to the races in Middleburg Spring’s $50,000 Temple Gwathmey (Gr. 3) on Saturday, and together they denied Irv Naylor’s Decoy Daddy a third straight victory by a neck. All Together finished third, and Staying On claimed fourth money.
Trained by Jack Fisher, Mr. Hot Stuff was making his first start since finishing fourth in the 2013 New York Turf Writers Cup (Gr. 1) at Saratoga Race Course. In his previous start three weeks earlier, he had won Saratoga’s A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Gr. 1). Young, a four-time champion jockey, was riding his first race meet of the season.
Decoy Daddy, conceding 10 pounds to the winner, ran a strong race under Carol-Ann Sloan in his 13-year-old debut. Mr. Hot Stuff, who finished third in the 2009 Santa Anita Derby (Gr. 1), ran the Temple Gwathmey’s 2 1/2 miles in 5:34.60 on turf rated as good.
Armata Stables’ Cornhusker edged Super Saturday by three-quarters of a length in the $30,000 Middleburg Hunt Cup, the Virginia meet’s timber feature. Sol a Pino finished third.
With Jeff Murphy in the saddle for trainer Alicia Murphy, Cornhusker ran the Middleburg Hunt Cup’s 3 1/4 miles in 7:00.20. Jacqueline Ohrstrom’s Eclipse Award winner Demonstrative continued to tune toward his first hurdle start of the year with a half-length victory over Dr. Skip in a 1 1/2-mile training flat race.