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Hot Heir Skier slaloms through stretch but holds on to win Jimmy Winkfield

By Jon Forbes | 01/20/2014 06:10 PM ET
Hot Hier Skier
PHOTO/Adam Coglianese

Hot Heir Skier contested the pace from between opponents, took over inside the three-sixteenths pole, weaved in the stretch, and held off a resurgent Oliver Zip and late-running Charleymillionaire to win the $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield for 3-year-old sprinters on Monday at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Sent up between horses by Jose Ortiz after being squeezed at the start, Hot Heir Skier raced in second flanked by pacesetter Oliver Zip to the inside and long shot Otoy to the outside through an opening quarter-mile in 22.92 seconds before Otoy backed out of it following a half in 46.52.

Hot Heir Skier wrested command from Otoy in upper stretch and led by a length with a furlong to travel, drifted inward and then outward, and prevailed by a half-length after Oliver Zip came back along the inside. Oliver Zip finished a head in front of Charleymillionaire, who had rallied in the middle of the track from last of seven.

"Between horses he was very relaxed,” said Ortiz. “He settled down very good, like an older horse. When I ask him to go, he goes, but when I hit him once, he acted a little green. I just showed him the whip a little bit because he acted a little green, but he's a nice horse.”

It was the first stakes win in three starts for Hot Heir Skier, who completed six furlongs in 1:11.25 and returned $7.50 for a $2 win wager as the 5-2 second choice.

“He got squeezed a little bit at the break but he got in a good position,” said trainer Ben Perkins, Jr., who trains the homebred son of Wildcat Heir for New Farm. “Going down the backside I thought he was in a good spot and [Jose Ortiz] was kind of sitting on him, just waiting. I had told [Jose] he’s got a real good turn of foot when you ask him, and he did, he just ran away from those horses. He got a little green through the stretch, which he has a tendency to do.”

Previously, Hot Heir Skier had raced twice at Laurel Park, finishing second by a half-length on November 20 and breaking his maiden by 3 ¼ lengths on December 26.

Pax Orbis, Cavu, Otoy, and Eye Luv Lulu completed the order of finish. Alex Inc was scratched.